MANILA - A party-list lawmaker on Wednesday dared the government's economic managers to live on 10,000 pesos a month after a NEDA official said Filipinos earning that much are not considered poor.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the statement of Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon that people living on a P10,000 monthly budget do not belong to those under the poverty line is "out of touch from reality."
He dared President Rodrigo Duterte's other economic managers to try to live on P10,000 monthly budget.
"Sila kaya ang mabuhay na P10,000 lang ang budget para sa kanilang pamilya. Nasubukan na ba nila ito? Bumaba muna kayo sa inyong kinatuntungang matayog na pedestal at subukan munang pagkasyahin ang P10,000 nang kahit 6 na buwan tapos saka kayo magsalita," Zarate said in a statement.
(Have they tried living on a P10,000 monthly budget for their family? Why don't they try it first? They should step down from the pedestal first and try living on on a P10,000 monthly budget for 6 months before they say something like this.)
He particularly dared Finance Secretary Carlo Dominguez, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno who earlier said Filipinos should not be "crybabies" amid rising inflation.
Zarate along with other opposition lawmakers have been calling for a review or possible suspension of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion law amid the skyrocketing prices of fuel and other basic consumer goods.
Inflation reached a 5-year high 4.6 percent in May. But Diokno insisted that the tax reforms are needed to fund government projects. He also said the higher duties are not entirely to blame for the rising price of petroleum products.