Press Release
October 5, 2018


"Harapin ni Pangulong Duterte ang problema sa ekonomiya, partikular sa inflation, kaysa mahibang sa multo ng destabilisayon."

This was the statement issued on Friday by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros as she challenged the Duterte administration to address the problems of the economy squarely, and not waste its time chasing non-existent destabilization plots. This after the country's inflation hit a new nine-year high in September of 6.7%.

"The president should stop looking for phantom plots against him when the real problem is right in front of him. If there is anything that is destabilized right now, it is the economy. Instead of going after students and schools, he should devote his time and energy to addressing the daily burden of our countrymen and women," Hontiveros said.

"Every day President Duterte spends obsessing with fake destabilization plots and hunting his critics is a missed opportunity to fix the economy," Hontiveros added.

It was reported that the price of gasoline went up by 1 peso per liter and diesel by Php1.35 at the beginning of the month. The Philippine peso is now at 54 to the dollar and the World Bank has downgraded its growth outlook for the country due to high inflation.

Hontiveros said that she is pushing for measures to address the economic crisis. These include suspending further taxes mandated by the TRAIN law until the inflation rate subsides, a decisive shift in rice policy, a faster infrastructure program to generate jobs, a wage hike, a cash transfer to poor families, and cutting the Value Added Tax (VAT).

"Unlike President Duterte's phantom destabilization plots, these are our real problems, and they demand his full and immediate attention, because this is about food on the table for every Filipino. This is about how we get to work. This is about education for our children. It doesn't get any more real than that," Hontiveros said.

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