Solon urges gov't to focus on economic problems instead of 'silencing critics'

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2018 05:12 PM

MANILA - Magdalo Party-list Representative Gary Alejano on Friday reminded the government to focus on solving economic problems affecting every Filipino instead of silencing its critics.

A Pulse Asia survey released Thursday revealed that inflation and higher pay for workers are the two top issues that majority of Filipinos want the government to act on. 

This after a Makati court ordered the arrest of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Sept. 25, weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte voided his amnesty over failed coup d'etat and rebellion attempts in 2003 and 2007.

Trillanes was arrested and has managed to post bail on the same day.

“This is not a surprise since this administration prioritizes the silencing of the opposition over providing solutions to the grievances of the people and other pressing problems of the country right now," Alejano said. 

"When the problem hits the people every day, in their every meal, there is no escaping no matter how the Duterte administration tries to bury the problem,” he said.

The solon reiterated his call to suspend the excise taxes on fuel imposed by the first package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

In a separate interview, Department of Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua said President Rodrigo Duterte's removal of non-tariff barriers on the importation of agricultural products could tame inflation. 

The passage of the rice tariffication bill, which is pending approval by the Senate, will also help stabilize food inflation, he said. 

Chua added that the additional excise taxes on oil products under TRAIN 1 could be suspended if the average price of global crude oil reaches $80 per barrel in the three months preceding the increase.