Philippine laws must protect, serve and empower the Filipino people.
One major threat we need to protect our countrymen from is inflation – rising prices of goods and services that put a strain on the average Filipino’s daily struggle.
By the end of 2017, over 10 million Filipino families still considered themselves poor. That is 10 million households struggling to provide food and shelter, striving to earn education and desperately searching to find sufficient livelihood.
Higit sa sampung milyong pamilya ang nababalisa tuwing tumtaas ang presyo ng bilihin tulad ng bigas, sardinas, kuryente at pamasahe.
More than just tightening their budget, these families will have to scramble for higher pay, for odd jobs and ‘sidelines’, and even micro-loans just to cover basic household expenses.
With so many Filipinos living in the fringes, the government needs to play an active role in managing inflation and ensure that our countrymen can survive the rising prices.
As such, this measure seeks to protect underprivileged Filipino families from increasing fuel prices, and its effect on the prices of goods and services, by suspending the excise tax on fuel under TRAIN when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target range over a three-month period.
Should the average inflation rate stabilize and fall below the annual target for three consecutive months, then the Department of Finance (DOF) will have the prerogative to lift the suspension and re-impose the excise tax on fuel based on its rate at the time of suspension.
While we have little control over global fuel prices, the imposition of excise taxes in our hands.
It is our responsibility to be flexible and responsive when the weight of inflation becomes too heavy for the poor Filipino families to bear.
Progress cannot be built at the expense of hungry Filipinos with little opportunity to improve their day-to-day lives.
Our challenge is to strike a balance between our macroeconomic goals and providing relief and support to Filipinos with the least in our society; and with open minds, open hearts, creativity and innovation, I believe we can find that delicate balance and create a prosperous future for all.