MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo suggested the suspension of certain provisions of tax reform and a revamp of the state grains agency to tame inflation.
Further increases in excise duties on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN, should be suspended, Robredo told reporters.
A review of the unconditional cash transfer program to help the poor cope with TRAIN may also be needed, she said.
"Inamin ng DOF (Department of Finance) na hindi nila inaasahan ang ganitong pagtataas. Panahon na para tingnan muli ang kung nararapat pa rin ba ang buwis sa krudo at kung sapat pa ba ang P200 a month na UCT (unconditional cash transfer) o kung kailangang itaas ito," Robredo said.
(The DOF admitted that it did not expect this increase. It's time to review if it is still necessary to tax fuel and if a P200 per month UCT is enough or should be raised.)
Senator Francis Pangilinan, the president of Robredo's Liberal Party, sought the resignation of NFA Adminsitrator Jason Aquino and the creation of an emergency task force on rice headed by economic managers.
"Sila na magbalangkas ng next steps sa rice procurement, importation ba to, baguhin itong direksyon na palapak na administrasyon under NFA Administrator Aquino," Pangilinan said.
(They will draft the next steps in rice procurement, importation or if it must be changed, the direction of the failed administration under NFA Administrator Aquino.)
Asked for comment on the statement of the President that there is only an "aberration" in the rice situation, Robredo said the problem should be taken seriously.
"Malaking insulto rin sa mga kababayang naghihirap pag sinabing hindi ito ganong kaseryosong problema," Robredo said.
(It's a huge insult to our people who are suffering to be told that this is not a serious problem.)
Liberal Party lawmakers said the "Bawas Presyo" bill, pending in both the Senate and the House, would help tame inflation.
"Kailangan na mag-decide ngayon kung papayagan mag-increase uli. Sana po itong batas na ito maybe right now hindi pinapansin ng administration, taumbayan na ang nagsasabi na certified urgent na po ito," said Sen. Bam Aquino, who filed the measure in the Senate.
(It has to be decided now if we will allow another increase. This law, maybe right now, will not be noticed by the administration, but the people want this certified urgent.)
"Hindi tayo tumutuligsa, humahanap tayo ng kongrektong solusyon. Majority minority, this is all intended to make prices of basic commodities more affordable," said the author of the House version, Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo.
(We are not protesting, we are looking for concrete solutions. Majority minority, this is all intended to make prices of basic commodities more affordable.)