Members of Makabayan bloc
MANILA, Philippines — Members of the House Makabayan bloc have expressed their concerns about the possible impact of the executive order, that seeks to simplify the process of food importation, on local farmers.
Malacañang reported Wednesday, September 12, that the government’s economic managers are planning to submit a draft executive order to President Rodrigo Duterte to tame the country’s surging inflation.
The economic managers are proposing to streamline the importation process by removing or reducing the tariffs being imposed on imported essential food items including sugar, meat, rice, and vegetables.
But according to Gabriela party-list Representative Arlene Brosas, this move might threaten the livelihood of local farmers and traders.
“Kapag bumaha ng mga produkto na ito sa ating merkado, ang mabibili ay produkto ng iba. Kaya po ito ay pagtatanggal sa kakayanan ng mga producers natin dito sa bansa na makinabang doon sa matagal nang dapat na pakinabangan” said Ilagan.
ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro also argued that the measure might result in possible price increases given the high peso-dollar exchange rate.
“Nakita natin ang sitwasyon ngayon, P54 a dollar. So kung ito na ang magiging direksyon ng gobyerno dahil nakatali na sa importasyon ang dolyar, mas mahal na maipapasasa sa mga consumers,” said Castro.
Instead of simplifying the food importation process, the Makabayan lawmakers are suggesting that the President should declare a price control in accordance with the Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act.
“Malinaw naman po doon na kapag mayroong unreasonable spike sa price ng basic commodities and services, maari pong yung batayan para magisyu ang pangulo ng price ceiling o price control na hindi na po nangangailangang magkaroon ng declaration ng state of emergency,” said Anak-Pawis Representative Ariel Casilao.
President Duterte has earlier assured that his economic managers are now working to curb the inflation.
As reported by Malacañang, these proposals include streamlining the process of rice importation of the National Food Authority and the immediate release of essential food products in ports. — UNTV News & Rescue