Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, called on his colleagues in the lower house to give Speaker Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. special powers that would allow him to manage the economy quickly in a context of runaway inflation.
Salceda has submitted a proposal for a Bayan Bangon Muli (BBM) package which incorporates a significant number of special powers to limit price increases – apart from price controls, which would do more harm than good for the stability of supply – to the representative of Leyte Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the presumed speaker of the House of the 19th Congress.
BBM’s proposed bill, which would be in effect for 18 months once enacted, would include the following special powers: 1) Anti-hoarding powers where no one will be allowed to hoard materials designated by Marcos as rare materials “at beyond reasonable demands for business, personal or household consumption, or for the purpose of resale at prices above prevailing market prices, of the goods or services;
2) Power to grant loans and guarantees to suppliers of essential goods; 3) Anti-tariff powers that are not price caps, but allow Marcos to stop the sale of goods at “unreasonably excessive” prices;
3) Motu proprio powers to investigate perceived market abuses in the energy and essential goods sectors; 5) Transportation emergency powers to allow Marcos to authorize the use of “private roads, expedite public projects, pursue alternatives. working arrangements and temporarily controlling facilities around ports and airports to address supply bottlenecks; ” and
6) Authority to mobilize uniformed personnel to expedite programs and projects that allow Marcos to leverage uniformed services to expedite the construction of infrastructure projects or reduce transportation bottlenecks.
Salceda said it was necessary to integrate “agriculture and food security into government training curricula, expand DA farmer support programs and food surplus management mechanisms” to avoid waste.
“I also proposed ways to expand the offer through support for MSMEs. We hope it will be easier for MSMEs supplying essential goods to register and [set up] store by reducing documentary and administrative requirements, the most irritating being the now useless schedule,” he said.
“During the effectiveness of the proposal [18 months]PBBM can also require minimum oil inventory and require oil companies to explain significant price changes,” Salceda said.
Earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority said the country’s headline inflation rate in June 2022 hit 6.1%, a three-year high since November 2018’s 6.1% and 6.9% from October 2018.
The PSA said a spike caused food and non-alcoholic beverage price inflation rates to rise from 4.9% in May 2022 to 6.0% in June 2022.