Workers blast Duterte for inaction on surging commodity prices
Labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) said Malacañang has been disregarding the growing clamor against spiraling prices of basic commodities, which have steadily gone up in the past weeks.
The BMP said that Malacañang is now “doing a blame game” by pointing out to world oil prices as the culprit in the price hike of basic goods and services, “instead of using the powers of the state to address the people’s complaints against inflation”.
“The Duterte regime is reactive only insofar as to putting the blame on other factors rather in doing proactive measures to curb the general rise in prices. It reveals the president’s utter lack of sympathy to a people whose pockets are being emptied sooner than their next payday or income because of inflation,” BMP president Luke Espiritu said.
In times of emergencies, he specified that the president can enforce price regulation to secure the lives and livelihood of the Filipino people.
“Every peso increase in the price of basic necessities spells disaster to the workers and the poor. Yet he only lifted a finger to blame the world market rather than to sign a decree to curb prices,” Espiritu further said.
The spiraling prices was recently aggravated by the recent tax measures that imposed excise taxes on petroleum products and sugar sweetened beverages.
According to Espiritu, the effects of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law is across-the-board.
“Excise taxes are inflationary, especially when imposed on goods for public consumption but also for producers goods because they are pass-on charges to end consumers,” he said.
“Yet the tax exemptions in TRAIN package was only for the middle class and the filthy rich. The exemption to P250,000 gross annual personal incomes did not benefit the minimum wage earners who were already exempted withholding taxes. Tax exemptions are illusory to the majority of our people who live in the underground economy,” he added.