By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang said that Filipinos are not cry-babies but are just mere victims of the increasing price of commodities which resulted from the surging price of oil in the world market.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after Budget Secretary Ben Diokno said that Filipinos should be less of a cry-baby following calls to suspend the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law amid high oil prices.
“I think we should be less of a cry-baby. We are not going to keep this money in the treasury. We are going to benefit from this. It is for the poor,” Diokno said Wednesday.
Roque, in his Thursday press briefing, said he thinks President Duterte does not think that Filipinos are cry-babies.
“Let’s just say that the President perhaps does not consider the Filipinos as crybabies,” he said.
Roque pointed out that Duterte is aware that Filipinos are carrying extra burden on their shoulders because of the sudden increase in the price of commodities.
“Kinikilala po ni Presidente na talagang nagkakaroon ng pagsubok dahil sa biglaang pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo na nagresulta sa pagtaas ng mga produkto ng, lahat halos ng mga bagay bagay (The President recognizes that there has been a challenge recently due to the sudden surge of oil prices which resulted to the increase in the prices of commodities),” he said.
“At dahil siya ay presidente na hinalal ng mga maliliit na tao, hindi naman po pwedeng talikuran ng Presidente ang mga naghalal sa kanya (And because he was elected by the ordinary Filipinos, he cannot just turn their backs on them),” he added.
Roque earlier said that Duterte is aware of the situation and gave three marching orders in an attempt to ease the effect of the price hike to the citizens.
“Ang Presidente natin, hindi naman po manhid sa mga pangyayari. Talagang walang gusto po na ganitong kataas ang presyo ng langis. Kaya ngayon po ay tatlong bagay ang kaniyang pinag-utos (The President is not numb. Nobody wants for the price of oil to increase like this so he gave three marching orders to his cabinet secretaries),” Roque said.
Duterte ordered the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to activate all its surveillance teams to strictly monitor the price of commodities and arrest those who go far beyond the suggested retail price.
The President also ordered for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to see if there is a need to increase the minimum wage, and the Department of Energy (DOE) to look for other countries where the Philippines can get cheaper oil.
However, Malacañang appealed to the public, especially to traders, to not take advantage of the TRAIN law, especially following the increase in the price of oil in the world market.