Poor does not need a positive inflation rate amid food prices rising 7% since 2018 – Anakpawis

Poor does not need a positive inflation rate amid food prices rising 7% since 2018 – Anakpawis

Manila, Philippines – As the government released its inflation rate data for December 2019, Anakpawis Party-list former representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao said that any positive inflation rate at this period and beyond is a sure burden to poor sectors, as prices continue to steep up due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law but people’s incomes are pegged at lower rates. December inflation rate was at 2.5%, higher than November’s 1.3%.

“Consumer price indices from January 2018 to December last year increased by 6.8%, with food items increasing by 7%. But wages, such as for the National Capital Region only increased by 4.8%. Thus, household incomes of poor families are being slashed down inflation and brought about by the very economic policies of the Duterte government,” the former lawmaker said in a press statement.

He cited that the liberalization policies in rice and fishery sectors, triggered retail price shocks that hounded the poor sectors in the country. Rice remains at least P32 per kilo, while galunggong reached to more than P300 per kilo last month.

“The worse part of liberalization is its band-aid solution of importation, as desperate measure to pull down prices. But in the case of rice, though imported stocks flooded, the prices never fell down to near P27 per kilo or the price of the cheaper rice from the National Food Authority,” he elaborated.

He also added the case of onion which price surged by 50% from November to December, from P120 to P180 per kilo, but farmgate prices fell from P30 to P45 per kilo to P10 to P15 kilo, throwing farmers into worsened state of bankruptcy and indebtedness.

Then, he warned that the latest implementation of the third tranche of tax imposition brought about by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law would be another wave of hammering on household incomes of poor families. Excise tax on gasoline now reached to P10 from P9 per liter, while on diesel from P4.50 to P6 per liter.

“The people should uphold the interest of their families against the chronic crisis brought about the economic policies of the Duterte government, and express opposition to liberalization and tax policies, which is actually plundering household incomes. We should all demand the scrapping of these policies and demand a national and democratic framework for the economy and industry,” he ended. ###

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