The 6.4% inflation rate for August released by the government Wednesday is a confirmation of what we repeatedly warned about – that the price of basic commodities like rice will continue to rise without effective government intervention, making it harder for Filipino families to make ends meet on a daily basis.
Our previous call to this administration to do what needs to be done to ease the difficulties that ordinary Filipinos have to face has become even more urgent. Hunger and poverty – exacerbated by rising prices – are our country’s most serious concerns today; our government should address these problems at the soonest possible time.
We ask the government to stop dismissing inflation as a sign of a growing economy. Economic growth is meaningless if it does not redound to the uplifting of the lives of the poorest segment of our society. We cannot simply ignore the fact that our fellow Filipinos are suffering, especially the poor, as the highest increases were observed in food and beverages that comprise the biggest share of a family’s household budget.
Expending political capital for divisive moves like revoking the validity of the amnesty provided to Senator Trillanes at time when the quality of life of our people is at stake comes at the expense of addressing the issues that truly matter to the Filipino.
What our people need is for its leaders to work together for solutions: the stabilization of the country’s rice supply through the installation of competent and trustworthy leadership at the NFA; revisiting the excise tax on fuel and any further impositions; and re-assessing whether the unconditional cash transfers provided by law are enough and to ensure that all qualified beneficiaries get the assistance at the soonest possible time. Those who are affected most by rising prices deserve that these measures should have been in place from the very start.
Glib talk can no longer be used to dismiss the cries of our people, who yearn for assurance, compassion, and effective action from the people they have entrusted to be their leaders.
Instead of shutting down those who dare to point out its inefficiencies, may the administration finally rise to the challenge of putting forward coherent solutions to bring down rising prices. The Filipino people who suffer the brunt of such rising prices are not served by further politicking. What our people need is a government that truly works for the public interest and does not waste its power and resources for pursuing personal and petty concerns.