TUCP: HOLD DOWN FOOD PRICES, BRING DOWN POWER RATES AS INFLATION CONTINUES TO SOAR
With inflation running rampant, Deputy Speaker Raymond Democrito Mendoza of TUCP Party List calls on economic managers to address food inflation and energy inflation.
“Our food security concerns and spiking electricity prices are the headline concerns that the economic managers have to cure immediately. As the peso-dollar exchange rate worsens, the inflationary effects will see people confronting real threat of hunger and power rates which will not just turn off investors but will bring down the quality of life for the majority.” warned Deputy Speaker Mendoza.
“We are importing many food items as well as importing coal and oil for our power needs. This will all have second round, knock-down effect on other basic goods and services.” says Mendoza.
“TUCP calls on Government to soften the impact of inflation to our people. We strongly urge the economic managers to consider TUCP’s recommendations in curbing inflation.” adds the Deputy Speaker.
The TUCP proposes that in order to hold down food prices;
- Foremost is to provide the poor with affordable basic commodities through price control measures on key goods and services.
- To help our people save on their food budgetary requirements, TUCP recommends the expansion of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Diskwento Caravan as well as the expansion of the Department of Agriculture’s Kadiwa mobile rice stores.
- TUCP also urges the government to come up with food-for-work-programs to ensure simple but nutritious meals to address growing malnutrition which is resulting in stunting the mental and physical development of our children and lowering the productivity of our workers, creating strain on our national healthcare system.
- Incidental to that, the DA should also promote vegetable raising in the backyard or do urban vegetable planting. In order to see the project through, the DA should also undertake seed distribution for that purpose.
- Likewise, we encourage the expansion of Government’s free transportation program – the EDSA Carousel, in order to help the commuting public in transportation expenses.
For the power sector, TUCP suggests the following;
- Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to review the allowable Weighted Average Cost of Capital for power utilities with a view to lowering it;
- ERC/DOE to place a price cap on power from our locally sourced Malampaya. This can be time bound to until the inflation rate drops to 2%;
- ERC to set aside the “sky-is-the -limit” Performance-based Ratemaking (PBR) in favor of the simpler Return on Rate Base (RORB) tariff fixing methodology;
- Local Renewables pricing should not be indexed to the price of imported coal and oil.
- For the ERC to set aside systems loss charges which are currently passed-thru to residential and industrial customers. Systems loss should be borne and shouldered by the utilities as part of the cost of their doing business.
“Again, we emphasize the need for these measures to be done with a sense of urgency. These will be the major keys in bringing down inflation to manageable levels and improving the welfare of the multitude of Filipinos struggling for daily survival especially during this crisis.” says TUCP Vice President Louie Corral.
Further, TUCP calls for government inclusion of workers, consumers and farmers in a broad summit with the economic team to address food inflation and power sector inflation. “Address food security and bring down the power costs – these will be the gamechangers for the success of the Marcos Administration.” adds Corral.