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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Marcos: No need for special powers for me

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PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday he can curb high inflation and minimize its impact on consumers without getting special powers from Congress, as suggested by some leaders of the House of Representatives.

In a chance interview with reporters after the launch of Halina’t Magtanim ng Prutas At Gulay, Kadiwa’y Yaman, Plants for Bountiful Barangays Movement (Hapag Kay PBBM) at the Rizal Park in Manila, Marcos said he already has enough power to temper high inflation, which reached 8.7 percent in January, and is seen to breach 9 percent in February.

“I already have the power to declare an emergency and to control the prices of commodities. So I don’t think there is any need for more than that, that is sufficient,” Marcos said. 

He attributed the rise in inflation to high fuel prices in the world market, which he admitted the government cannot do anything about, and food prices.

The President made the pronouncement after House Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jose “Joey” Sarte Salceda and House Committee on Appropriations Senior Vice Chairperson Stella Luz Quimbo said they are open to providing Marcos special powers on Tuesday.

Salceda noted his proposed special powers, which will last 18 months, will help address the “structural issues,” which cause high inflation such as hoarding, price gouging, and market abuse.

It will also enable the President to provide loans and guarantees to suppliers of essential goods and mobilize uniformed personnel to expedite government programs.

Food accessibility

BUT rather than using the special powers from Congress, Marcos said he is pushing for initiatives to boost local food production such as their Hapag Kay PBBM, which aims to increase the number of community gardens.

“This program encourages our people to grow their own food and other kitchen ingredients close to home, which improves access to affordable, safe, nutritious meals every day,” Marcos said.

He also said they continue to make affordable agricultural products accessible to consumers through the “Kadiwa ng Pangulo,” of the Department of Agriculture (DA). 

The Kadiwa program allows producers, particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) to directly sell their produce to consumers. 

Marcos visited the Kadiwa ng Pangulo program at the Rizal Park in Manila and in Santo Tomas Municipal Grounds in Batangas.

“We must do this since we will not allow our citizens to go hungry. I have mentioned this several times already, the aspiration of my administration is to make sure no Filipino will be hungry,” Marcos said during the Kadiwa program in Manila.

Image credits: Malacañang Presidential Communications Office via AP

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