VP claims she warned about rice short­ages last year

Ba­colod City SP wants ex­cise taxes sus­pended

Watchmen Daily Journal - - Front Page - By Do­minique Gabriel G. Bañaga

Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo yes­ter­day claimed she warned the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte about signs of an im­pend­ing rice short­age last year and re­gard­ing rice im­por­ta­tion as a method of com­bat­ing in­fla­tion.

Ro­bredo, who served as key­note speaker for the Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal Small Fish­ers Al­liance Pro­vin­cial Congress at the Busi­ness Inn in Ba­colod City, said the ad­min­is­tra­tion did not heed her ad­vice.

The vice pres­i­dent added, the ad­min­is­tra­tion is blam­ing fuel prices for hikes in rice prices, but she said it is “one of many fac­tors.”

“We have neigh­bor­ing coun­tries [that] have also en­coun­tered oil price hikes, but their in­fla­tion did not even rise sub­stan­tially com­pared to us,” Ro­bredo ex­plained.

She added, the ad­min­is­tra­tion is

ne­glect­ing the dif­fi­cul­ties en­coun­tered through­out the coun­try, say­ing, some are wor­ried about be­ing able to feed their fam­i­lies.

Ro­bredo said nu­mer­ous res­o­lu­tions have been filed seek­ing to ad­dress the prob­lem, in­clud­ing calls to sus­pend ex­cise taxes on fuel and ex­pe­dit­ing the re­lease of un­con­di­tional cash trans­fer en­ti­tle­ments.

She also be­lieves fish­er­folk should be el­i­gi­ble for the said en­ti­tle­ments.

Duterte, mean­while, is re­port­edly con­sid­er­ing the sus­pen­sion of ex­cise taxes on oil prod­ucts, but it can only be done if global oil prices hit $80 per bar­rel for three con­sec­u­tive months.

The cur­rent in­fla­tion rate is 6.7 per­cent.

Re­cently, the Ba­colod City Sang­gu­ni­ang Pan­lung­sod ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion call­ing on the Se­nate and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to sus­pend ex­cise taxes, par­tic­u­larly those on fuel and oil prod­ucts.

The pol­icy, penned by Ba­colod City Coun­cilor Cae­sar Dis­trito, pointed to the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion Law for the spike in in­fla­tion, which was last recorded at 6.7 per­cent.

“The Se­nate and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, as the bas­tion of the peo­ple's wel­fare, have to take nec­es­sary ac­tion by com­ing up [with] mea­sures or sus­pend the im­po­si­tion of the ex­cise tax, par­tic­u­larly on fuel,” the res­o­lu­tion read./DGB,

(Do­minique Gabriel G. Bañaga photo)

Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo yes­ter­day claimed she warned the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion about signs of an im­pend­ing rice short­age last year.

Mal­i­han photo) (Richard

A to­tal P2 mil­lion were turned over for projects in Sa­gay City, Cadiz City, Hini­garan, and La Castel­lana at the Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal Pro­vin­cial Capi­tol yes­ter­day. Among the projects the al­lo­ca­tion will fund in­clude im­prov­ing and ex­pand­ing a wa­ter sys­tem, build­ing a fence, ac­quir­ing a dump truck, and ren­o­vat­ing a barangay hall. Pro­vin­cial Board Mem­bers Sal­vador Es­calante, Jr. (third from left) and Alain Ga­tus­lao (right) were present for the turnover.

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