MANILA - President Duterte does not consider Filipinos as “crybabies,” his spokesman said Thursday, after budget chief Benjamin Diokno said the public should not lament skyrocketing prices of fuel and other basic goods.
“The President does not consider the Filipinos as crybabies. Kinikilala po ni Presidente na talagang nagkakaroon ng pagsubok dahil sa biglang pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo na nagresulta sa pagtaas ng mga produkto ng lahat halos ng mga bagay-bagay,” Roque said.
“At dahil siya ay Presidente na hinalal ng mga maliliit na tao, hindi naman pupuwedeng talikuran ng Presidente iyong mga naghalal sa kaniya.”
(The President does not consider the Filipinos as crybabies. He recognizes that there are hardships because of the spike in fuel prices and, consequently, other basic goods. And since he was elected by the poor, he cannot just turn his back on them.)
Consumers have been feeling the pinch of higher fuel prices in the world market, aggravated by the higher excise tax imposed under the tax reform law and accelerating inflation.
The government has defended the imposition of higher excise tax on fuel, saying it only accounts for a fraction of the overall price of petroleum.
Inflation reached 4.5 percent in April, fanning calls for the government to at least roll back additional duties on petroleum products.
The tax reform law provides for the suspension of future increases in excise taxes on fuel if the price of Dubai crude reaches $80 per barrel.