Marikina lawmaker calls for immediate distribution of Ayuda

Marikina lawmaker calls for immediate distribution of Ayuda

MANILA — Marikina Second District Representative Stella Quimbo calls for the immediate distribution of cash aid or Ayuda as skyrocketing food prices can result in 2.58 million more poor Filipinos.

The economist-lawmaker suggested that the potential P11.9-B additional collection from value-added tax (VAT) from higher prices of goods in January can be used to help Filipinos cope with the high inflation.

In a statement, during the DBCC briefing in the House Committee on Appropriations last Tuesday, Quimbo, a senior vice chairperson cited an ADB study that estimated that a 10% food inflation rate pushes an additional 2.3 million into poverty.

“With an 11.2 percent food inflation rate that we are currently experiencing, nadagdagan ng 2.58 million ang bilang ng mga mahihirap na Pilipino,” Quimbo said.

Quimbo added that due to high prices, local producers are also taking the brunt of weaker production which will eventually affect jobs in the country.

“Magre-resulta sa paghina ng produksyon sa mga lokal na pagawaan ang mataas na inflation. Ibig sabihin, mawawalan rin ng mga trabaho,” the Marikina solon added.

Recounting the recently held third marathon of the Motu Proprio inquiry on high onion prices of the House Agriculture and Food Committee, Teacher Stella highlighted the role of Congress in resolving the country’s economic issues.

“There are more nuanced questions such as: Should Congress insist on the re-convening of the inter-agency unit on economic intelligence to intensify enforcement against agriculture cartels which have been engaged in hoarding and price manipulation? Should Congress grant the Department of Agriculture or the President additional powers to enforce food price stabilization measures? If so, what are these?,” Quimbo ended.

The DBCC briefing in the lower chamber has initiated the harmonization of efforts of the executive and legislative branches in tempering inflation and in achieving the Medium-term fiscal framework’s (MTFF) poverty reduction targets.

(Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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