NEDA wants flexible work schemes

Published July 6, 2022, 8:29 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) raised the need to promote alternative work arrangements amid skyrocketing fuel prices, as it also urged the government to immediately address the logistical constraints in the country.

In a statement, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the country should further conserve energy to temper the inflation rate, which continues to raise at a much faster pace due to the global energy crisis.

Among the proposals given by Balisacan is the promotion of alternative work arrangements.

Without providing specific proposals, the NEDA explained that new work setup options “have been proven effective and productivity-enhancing.”

Balisacan also added that the government should encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation.

“In the long term, alternative modes of transportation may alleviate transport fare pressures and reduce the reliance on global fuel. It will also promote greener and more sustainable transportation moving forward,” he said.

Moreover, Balisacan said the government must immediately address logistical constraints to complement the government’s Plant, Plant, Plant 2 program.

Last Tuesday, Philippine Statistics Authority reported that headline inflation rate accelerated to 6.1 percent in June from 5.4 percent in the previous month. This is within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ forecast range of 5.7 percent to 6.5 percent for the month.

“As the country’s inflation rate continues to increase, we must continue fast-tracking our policies to make sure that Filipinos can still travel to work and bring sufficient and healthy food to their tables,” Balisacan said.

Due to faster inflation in meat, fish, vegetables and rice, food inflation remained as the main driver of the increase as it further climbed to 6.4 percent from 5.2 percent in May.

The Livestock Development and Competitiveness (LDC) Bill is being proposed to modernize the livestock, poultry, and corn sectors in the country.

Among the major provisions of the LDC Bill is the updating of the corn industry roadmap, along with the establishment of “competitiveness enhancement funds” for the livestock value chain.

Meanwhile, non-food inflation was recorded higher at 6.0 percent in June from 5.6 percent in the previous month. This was primarily driven by transport inflation’s increase to 17.1 percent from 14.6 percent in May, led by volatile international crude oil prices.

To mitigate the impact of higher fuel prices among low-income households, the Department of Social Welfare and Development started the distribution of the first tranche of the Targeted Cash Transfer program on July 4, 2022.

Further, to help alleviate the burden of high oil prices on qualified tricycle drivers, the Department of the Interior and Local Government announced that over 600,000 qualified tricycle drivers are set to receive fuel cash subsidies under the Pantawid Pasada Program for Tricycle Drivers.

Moreover, the Libreng Sakay Program for all the passengers of the EDSA Bus Carousel has been extended until December 2022.

The Department of Transportation will also implement Libreng Sakay for Students Program LRT-2 and the PNR in the first quarter of the school year 2022-2023 or from August 22, 2022 to November 4, 2022 considering the resumption of face-to-face classes.