Robredo tells lawmakers: Focus on lowering prices, not Charter change

Vice President Leni Robredo photo

Vice President Leni Robredo urged the House of Representatives to find ways to bring down prices and give more jobs to Filipinos rather than change the Constitution. 

“Imbes na maghain ng mga solusyon sa mga problemang dulot ng batas na ito, malinaw na usap-politika ang mas mahalaga para sa liderato ng Kamara, na siya nitong ipinakita sa pagpasa ng House Resolution na nagtutulak sa Cha-Cha. (Instead of offering solutions to the problems caused by this law, it’s clear that diplomacy is more important for the leaders in Kamara, which is shown through the submission of a House Resolution that pushes for Cha-cha),” Robredo in a statement said on Wednesday, December 5.

The House approved on second reading the proposed draft federal charter on Tuesday.

“Ang dapat tutukan ng ating Kongreso ay ang mga panukala na magpapababa sa presyo ng mga bilihin, at magbibigay ng trabaho sa ating mga kababayan. (The one thing that the Congress should focus on is the proposal for bringing down prices of goods, and providing more jobs to the Filipino people),” she said.

“Unahin na natin ang ating mga kababayan, at mga alalahaning pinakamalapit sa kanilang bituka at pamumuhay, kaysa sa pamumulitika. (Let’s prioritize our countrymen, and their concerns closest to their stomachs and living, instead of diplomacy),” she added.

According to Robredo, she found out while going around the country that the main sentiment of the people is the unabated price increases of basic goods and services. 

“Umaasa sila na ibubuhos ng pamahalaan ang kakayahan nito para pagaanin ang kanilang dalahin sa araw-araw. (They’re hoping that the administration would exert effort into giving them relief in their everyday burdens),” she said.

However, she noted that lowering of prices does not seem to be a priority of the government.

“Delayed na nga ang ayuda para sa mahihirap, binawi pa ang suspensyon ng fuel excise tax sa January 2019. (Not only was the aid for the poor delayed, the suspension of fuel excise tax on January 2019 was also recanted),” she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, December 4, approved the imposition of the second round of fuel tax increases beginning on January.

The government, for its part, has taken an effort to solve joblessness in the country with the Ease of Doing Business Act that Duterte recently signed.

 The Ease of Doing Business Act or Republic Act No. 11032’s aim is to “streamline business processes and reduce processing time in all government agencies to make the country more conducive to investments thereby creating more and better jobs for our people.”

The rice tariffication bill was also recently approved by the Senate which seeks to lift restrictions on rice importation to help the country’s rising inflation.  It is is expected to alleviate the impact of the nine-year high inflation and address the country’s rice shortage. 

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