By RG Cruz and ABS-CBN News, September 6 2018; ABS-CBN News
Image Credit to Rappler.com
MANILA – Several lawmakers who are allies of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have called for the resignation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers after inflation hit 6.4 percent in August.
Albay Congressman Joey Salceda on Thursday called for the resignation of officials of the National Food Authority over the agency’s failure to stabilize rice prices.
“Listened to NFA interviews all over…ayaw ko na sa Earth. They don’t get it. They should resign irrevocably,” Salceda posted on Facebook.
Salceda, who was an economic adviser to then President and now House Speaker Arroyo, added in a text message to ABS-CBN that NFA officials had been trivializing the effects of high price of rice on the poor.
On Wednesday, Salceda said Duterte’s economic managers did not heed the advice of Arroyo’s economic team on curbing inflation.
House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, also an Arroyo ally, on Wednesday said Duterte’s economic managers were incapable of doing their tasks.
Suarez said the heads of the Trade and Industry, Finance, Budget and Management departments, as well as the National Economic and Development Authority, should all be fired.
“Yun ang key movers ng economic policy. Baka pwede tanggalin na sila,” Suarez said.
(They are the key movers of economic policy. Maybe they should be removed.)
Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza also said Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol should be sacked.
“Di pa natatanggal si Piñol,” Atienza said.
(Piñol has yet to be fired.)
Arroyo’s economic team, Salceda said, had proposed temporarily removing tariffs for fish, boosting rice imports, putting price ceilings on vegetables and reducing tariffs for meat.
Salceda said Duterte’s economic managers began considering Arroyo’s suggestions only after the release of the latest inflation data.
Arroyo said government could slow inflation in 3 months if agriculture gets adequate support.