By Mario Casayuran
Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian said on Wednesday that the decision of President Duterte to suspend the scheduled increase of excise on diesel and gasoline next year was welcome.
‘’This indicates that the government is taking a pro-active stance in taming inflation,’’ Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate economic affairs committee,” he said.
Gatchalian said the expected suspension would greatly help the public, particularly the poor who have been suffering from the negative effects of the high inflation rate.
Last September, the inflation rate hit 6.7 percent, a nine-year high.
‘’Indeed, it is only right to suspend the second tranche of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) Law given the issues in the implementation of the social mitigation measures meant to shield the poor from its inflationary effects, including the 10 percent discount on rice sold by the National Food Authority (NFA), the Unconditional Cash Transfer program, and the Pantawid Pasada program,’’ he said.
‘’Hopefully, by the time the suspension is lifted, the rice tariffication bill will have already been signed into law so as to temper rising food prices and reduce the overall inflation rate,’’ he added.