Salceda prods IMO to pitch anti-inflation EOs


WITH the creation of an Inter-Agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IMO), an economist-lawmaker on Wednesday urged the IMO to recommend to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. the issuance of executive orders to ease prices.

House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Joey Sarte Salceda said the IMO should expedite coordination between agencies on fighting price hikes.

This newly formed committee shall serve as an advisory body to the President and the Cabinet on measures to mitigate inflation and ensure food and energy security while balancing the interests of local food producers, consumers, and the overall economy.

“Now that the IAC is finally constituted, it is high time for our economic team to advise the President on how to use the broad and critical powers of his office to tamp down price hikes,” said Salceda.

“It’s part of the Inflation Reduction Powers under my proposed Bayan Bangon Muli Act which we filed in July. If the predisposition of the President is to implement the measures in that proposal piece by piece through executive action, that also works,” Salceda said.

Salceda’s proposal, filed on July 21, 2022, includes the creation of a similar task force to coordinate actions to stabilize the price and supply” of basic goods.

The proposal also seeks the following special powers: against anti-hoarding; to incentivize production; to provide loans and guarantees to suppliers of essential goods; against price-gouging; (motu proprio) to investigate market abuse; declaring a transport emergency with special transport powers; and, to mobilize uniformed personnel to expedite programs and projects.

In an October 2022 memorandum for the President, Salceda recommended issuing a slew of executive orders to fight price hikes.

“At least one of them is already accomplished. That’s the amended IRR of the Renewable Energy Law, which now allows 100-percent foreign ownership of RE generation,” he said.

Salceda urged IMO to recommend to the President these following orders:

■ EO directing the inventory and release of all procured and available financial and material resources for agriculture, as well as expeditious completion of all pending procurement for agriculture

■ EO ensuring that all supply bottlenecks for food and other farm producer are eased may also be issued

■ AO directing Local Government Units to lift all hindrances and blockages across farm-to-market routes

■ AO directing the Department of Transport to ensure the proper flow of traffic feeding into inter-island nautical routes

■ EO directing that all schools and barangays undertake community edible gardening programs

■ Conduct of food processing and storage trainings for farmers to manage food surpluses

■ Revival of the vermiculture for animal feed under President F.E. Marcos lower tariffs for imported corn to 5 percent (or raise minimum access volume)

■ Increase current 150,000 MT import program for refined sugar, but under an auction system to reduce price differential and generate revenues for domestic sugar sector support

■ Ensuring that hydropower dams are able to produce optimally through desilting

■ Increasing the production of domestic coal and considering the temporary or managed relaxation of the Department of Energy (DOE) moratorium on the expansion of power plants employing domestic coal

■ Issuing an Executive Order expediting the local and national approval of necessary permits for solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects.