MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. does not see the need for additional powers as the country's concurrent agriculture chief to curb inflation.
In a chance interview with reporters, Marcos described the proposal of a House lawmaker as "not necessary."
"If we declare, for example, if we declare-- I already have the power to declare an emergency and to control the prices of commodities. So I don't think there's any need for more than that. That is efficient," the President said.
Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo said additional powers for President Marcos would stabilize food prices and fight hoarding and price manipulation.
Quimbo said rising food prices are putting more people into poverty, which was why she urged government to use taxes to provide subsidies to mitigate the effect of food inflation.
In response, the President said that as agriculture chief, there are some factors that he cannot control.
He said he is "more optimistic than the Central Bank" that inflation will slow down in the coming months even if this has quickened recently.
"Noong February, hindi pa masyadong bumababa ang fuel prices. Ngayon pa lang natin inaayos ang food supply para yung inflation na galing sa agricultural products ay mabawasan," he said.
"Wala tayong magagawa doon sa mga iba't ibang inputs, pero yung sa agrikultura... The other elements of inflation hindi natin masyado ma-control. Kaya meron tayong ginagawang ganito para makabawi naman doon sa pagtaas ng presyo," he added.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Tuesday forecasted inflation in February to reach between 8.5 percent to 9.3 percent, caused by higher LPG prices as well as the elevated prices of key food items such as pork, fish, egg and sugar.
Last month, the President said the measures implemented by the government have yet to make an impact on the inflation rate.
It can be remembered that inflation accelerated to 8.7 percent in January, exceeding the forecast by the central bank.
—with a report from RG Cruz and Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News