Inflation: An election issue
Soon the Advent season will arrive and after this, the season of Christmas. Small to big time traders are trying to cash in and have started to raise prices of goods and services.
It is incumbent upon the Department of Trade and Industry to monitor the markets and ensure that prices are within reasonable ranges and we support every initiative to prevent excessive profiteering and the defrauding of consumers.
At the same time, the public would be well advised to remember that the real gifts of Christmas are not the ones money can buy.
In a nation rent apart by political strife, deliberate efforts toward greater civility in relations and conversations both online and offline would be a welcome gift to all.
Conciliatory visits to family and friends long estranged, sharing of resources with the less fortunate, acts of solidarity for victims of injustice would likewise be more precious than all the consumer items offered at the Christmas midnight sale.
That said, the government nevertheless needs to step in and take practical steps to control rising prices of commodities that do not seem positioned for a rollback after Christmas. Unabated inflation is therefore an election concern.
The campaign for elective public positions in May 2019 should be an arena where candidates who can present practicable solutions for preserving if not strengthening the purchasing power of the peso may speak and court well-deserved support.
At the level of the Senate and the Lower House, we need legislators who can build consensus in their respective chambers for revisions to the tax laws designed to retard runaway inflation.
In the local governments, we need officials who can build enabling environments for small and medium enterprises and other forms of livelihood, and the opening of more employment opportunities with decent wages.
Officials should have the integrity to ensure that programs like conditional cash transfer are strictly administered so that they truly benefit the target families who need more than ever to be shielded from price shocks.
Legislators and executive officials are needed who can pressure the Department of Energy to finally inaugurate an era of decreasing dependence on fossil fuels and non-renewable energy.
This would significantly reduce production costs across the economy and justify price markdowns not to mention other benefits like savings in health and environment costs.
Let us elect officials who have an integrated approach to fighting inflation that balances care for the purchasing power of the peso, workers’ welfare, and the start of a green regime.