Press Releases

Salceda lauds creation of inter-agency group on inflation; wants swifter action on supply issues

March 8th, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) lauded President Marcos’s creation of an Inter-Agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IMO), saying that the move should expedite coordination between agencies on fighting price hikes.

“It’s part of the Inflation Reduction Powers under my proposed Bayan Bangon Muli Act which we filed in July. If the predisposition of the President is to implement the measures in that proposal piece by piece through executive action, that also works,” Salceda said.

Salceda’s proposal, filed on July 21, 2022, includes the creation of a similar task force “to coordinate actions to stabilize the price and supply” of basic goods.

The proposal also the following special powers: against anti-hoarding; to incentivize production; to provide loans and guarantees to suppliers of essential goods; against price-gouging; (motu proprio) to investigate market abuse; declaring a transport emergency with special transport powers; and, to mobilize uniformed personnel to expedite programs and projects.

“This newly formed committee shall serve as an advisory body to the President and the Cabinet on measure to mitigate inflation and ensure food and energy security while balancing the interests of local food producers, consumers, and the overall economy,” the NEDA said in a statement on March 7.

Recommend EOs to ease prices

“Now that the IAC is finally constituted,” Salceda said, “it is high time for our economic team to advise the President on how to use the broad and critical powers of his office to tamp down price hikes.”

In an October 2022 memo for the President, Salceda recommended issuing a slew of executive orders to fight price hikes.

“At least one of them is already accomplished. That’s the amended IRR of the Renewable Energy Law, which now allows 100% foreign ownership of RE generation.

Other recommendations in the memo, which Salceda hopes quick action from the IAC on are:

On food

  1. EO directing the inventory and release of all procured and available financial and material resources for agriculture, as well as expeditious completion of all pending procurement for agriculture,
  2. EO ensuring that all supply bottlenecks for food and other farm producer are eased may also be issued.
  3. AO directing Local Government Units to lift all hindrances and blockages across farm-to-market routes
  4. AO directing the Department of Transport to ensure the proper flow of traffic feeding into inter-island nautical routes.
  5. EO directing that all schools and barangays undertake community edible gardening programs
  6. Conduct of food processing and storage trainings for farmers to manage food surpluses
  7. Revival of the vermiculture for animal feed under President F.E. Marcos

On feeds and imported products

  1. Lower tariffs for imported corn to 5% (or raise minimum access volume).
  2. Increase current 150,000 MT import program for refined sugar, but under an auction system to reduce price differential and generate revenues for domestic sugar sector support.

On fuel and indigenous energy sources

  1. Ensuring that hydropower dams are able to produce optimally through desilting
  2. Increasing the production of domestic coal and considering the temporary or managed relaxation of the Department of Energy (DOE) moratorium on the expansion of power plants employing domestic coal
  3. Issuing an Executive Order expediting the local and national approval of necessary permits for solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects

Salceda also recommended greater “Real sector participation in the IAC. So, the DOTr should also be part of the body,” which also includes the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

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