Marcos should focus on inflation – economist

President Ferdinand Marcos should prioritize solving inflation or the speed of rising commodity prices, according to economist and Albay 2nd district Representative Joey Salceda.

Although 84 percent of inflation is “imported” or due to world market prices, he said, it can be controlled by giving “extra power” to the president.

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“Pagdating sa inflation he needs some extra powers para po mabawalan ang hoarding, use his powers to provide loan, incentivize production, as well to msme,” said Salceda at the Café at the Manila Bay forum on Wednesday.

“He needs extra power to provide price gouging and then abuse of market power to use the AFP in to complete certain projects, para hindi magkaroon ng logistical bottlenecks,” he added.

Aside from inflation, Salceda said the President should also prioritize addressing more jobs, encouraging investors to do business in the country, controlling the spread of the pandemic, and reducing the country’s debt.

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Earlier, President Marcos expressed doubts that the country’s inflation rate is 6.1 percent over the last month.

“6.1? I think I will have to disagree with that number. We are not that high,” Marcos said in a press briefing.

Marcos should focus on inflation – economist

The Philippines’ annual headline  continued to move faster than 6.1 percent in June 2022. This is the highest recorded inflation since October 2018. Inflation in the previous month stood at 5.4 percent and in June 2021, 3.7 percent. The average inflation for the year’s first half was posted at 4.4 percent.

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However, National Statistician and  head Claire Dennis Mapa said,  “The Philippine Statistics Authority stands by its report.”

Salceda added that in the strength of the mandate of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the public had high expectations of him and he should use the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to lay out what he wanted to do in the country.

“We will expect that Marcos Jr. cannot do no less, so he will use that podium essentially to articulate a vision of grand national ambition. He cannot be less ambitious given the mandate, and given what is necessary relief for the Philippines,” said Salceda.

Marcos’ first SONA will be held on Monday, July 25.

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