Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to conduct an investigation on the recent price increases in the country and to take action to address the issue.
In a Facebook post, Cayetano said the increase in the prices of basic commodities are felt deeply everyday by millions of Filipinos who were rendered jobless, poor, and hungry by the pandemic and made homeless by recent typhoons and natural disasters.
“Per recent reports, inflation across the country is quickly, inexplicably picking up as the prices of many of our basic commodities are rising rapidly,” he said.
“The figures are alarming. In December last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority observed a 3.5 percent increase in the price of basic goods,” he added.
Cayetano said while the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had expected the increase due to rising prices of oil and agricultural products, it is “one thing to look at the numbers on a spreadsheet, and quite another when you see the effect on the faces of our kababayans.”
He also said in order for Filipino families to be self-sufficient and happy, three key problems must be solved first: “mataas na presyo (high prices), kawalan ng trabaho (joblessness), and kakulangan sa kita (inadequate income).”
He said these problems must be prioritized by the government as it continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and its crippling impact on the economy.
Cayetano urged his fellow political leaders to ensure that “no Filipino will be left behind in our efforts to feed our people and heal our land.”
“We are faced with a grave crisis, whose length and breadth is not yet known. We all need to stand together now if we are to meet and overcome this challenge,” he said.
Cayetano’s office has always been committed to providing Filipino families with the tools and means to emerge from poverty. Through the Presyo, Trabaho, at Kita/Kaayusan (PTK) program, a micro-lending initiative that has provided seed capital to hundreds of micro-businesses and informal sector groups across the country, his office has been able to help families and communities improve their production and contribute to the economic prosperity of the localities. (Vina de Guzman)