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Palace working ‘double time’ to tame inflation, lower prices

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After President Rodrigo Duterte’s net satisfaction rating slid eight points in the third quarter, Malacañang on Sunday said the government is working “double time” to address inflation and bring down prices of basic goods.

Palace working ‘double time’ to tame inflation, lower prices
GOLDEN GRAINS. Several residents dry their palay crops on the highway in Manaoag,  Pangasinan, unmindful of a prohibition imposed by the Department of Public Works and Highways. According to them, it is more practical to dry their crops on public roads and sell the product right away to passing traders than go to a  buying station which will entail the cost, not to mention carrying the sackloads of rice. Manny Palmero

“Regardless of the numbers, we assure everyone that the administration is working double time to ensure prices of basic goods become stable as we cushion the impact of higher inflation,” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque in a statement Sunday, welcoming the results of Social Weather Stations’ latest survey of the Duterte administration.

Roque said the government has already taken measures to reduce the impact of inflation, to which he attributed the President’s eight-point decline.

“We received the lowest rating in fighting inflation. Nonetheless, public satisfaction remains ‘very good’ at +50 during the time when our people are feeling the hit of a faster inflation rate when the survey was conducted last September,” he said.

“We are taking measures, including the importation of rice and deposition of public officials involved in the rice crisis, to solve the shortage of supply of rice in the market,” he said.

According to the Social Weather Stations, more than six out of every 10 Filipinos were satisfied with the performance of the Duterte administration, which retained a “very good” net satisfaction rating of +50 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

The poll, conducted from Sept. 15 to 23, showed 65 percent of those polled were satisfied with the general performance of the current administration, 15 percent were dissatisfied, while the remaining 19 percent expressed ambivalence on the matter.

The administration’s satisfaction rating dropped in all areas, except in Metro Manila.

It fell from “excellent” to “very good” in Mindanao (+67), both “very good” to “good” in Balance Luzon (+48), and in the Visayas (+42), but remained “good” in Metro Manila (+40).

The SWS enlisted 14 specific subjects rated by the respondents such as fighting terrorism, reconciliation with Muslim rebels, and communist rebels, helping the poor, fighting the inflation, food security, foreign relations, fulfilling commitments in international relations, fight against corruption, defending West Philippine Sea, infrastructure projects, Marawi City reconstruction, protection of human rights, and fighting crime.

The survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults. It had a sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

In an interview on the ANC news channel, political analyst Ranjit Rye, a professor of political science at the University of the Philippines said the slide in the President’s net satisfaction rating was due to his administration’s failure to curb rising prices of goods.

“There have been consistent drops in the administration’s performance rating over the last two quarters. Although in my view, this drop was not surprising given the fact that a big issue really is inflation,” Rye told ANC.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, meanwhile, blamed mismanagement for the rise in the prices of commodities.

In an interview with radio dzMM, he said economic managers were not able to foresee that inflation would accelerate to levels not seen in almost 10 years.

The Duterte administration also failed stabilize prices of two basic commodities, fish and rice.

In another development, Congress has endorsed to the chamber’s plenary a draft constitution filed by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and other co-sponsors seeking to create a federal form of government.

The committee on constitutional amendments, in an Oct. 2 report, said the panel has already considered the proposed measure and recommended its approval without amendments.

Arroyo’s proposal is separate from the draft federal charter of President Rodrigo Duterte’s consultative committee. With Rio N. Araja

READ: September inflation jumps to 6.7%

READ: Measures in place to tame inflation

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