Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday said the continuing economic crisis exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict has highlighted the need, now more than ever, for government to seriously consider implementing his proposals to cut excise taxes of oil and electricity and increase funding allocation for “ayuda” or aid to millions of affected Filipinos.
“Loss of rice, loss of onion, loss of crops. Next week we will be ready again, the fuel will go up again, but the salary will not go up,” Moreno said, before thousands of cheering Novo Ecijanos during a town hall meeting at the Freedom Park here.
“My view on the government. When you give priority to people, you can’t make mistakes. I said that five months ago, the government would have withdrawn first. Let’s reduce the crude oil tax by 50 percent and the electricity tax by 50 percent. The government will lose a little, but it will benefit the people. For every government loss, people have savings,” Moreno said.
In an earlier interview in Cabiao town, Nueva Ecija, Moreno praised President Duterte for increasing by 50 percent to P5 billion the fuel subsidy of drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) in the wake of the unabated rise in the prices of petroleum products which is hurting the transport sector.
“I am happy that this is being done by President Duterte and the Cabinet. Just for the benefit of the people, I will support it. Thank you, President,” Moreno told the media Thursday morning before embarking on a day-long motorcade together with running mate Dr. Willie Ong and their senatorial candidates.
“Of course, I’m happy for the drivers because if the government does that, it will somehow alleviate their losses in their daily income. Passengers will also benefit because somehow there is no fare hike,” Moreno added.
In October last year, the 47-year-old presidential candidate was like a “voice in the wilderness” when he appealed for the national government to cut by 50 percent the excise taxes on oil and electricity because of hardships being experienced by everyone, particularly the ordinary people who are most affected by the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreno said this policy will have higher impact in cushioning the effects of the economic crisis because it will be felt by Filipinos in all social classes.
“I hope the government would let go of it. I think there will be even more high impact when we reduce the crude oil tax and electricity tax by 50 percent. Across the board, rich, businessmen, their employees, house, family and so on and so forth will benefit,” Moreno said.
This was after a town hall meeting in Cabiao town where he met with more than a thousand residents of this town composed mostly of farmers, public transport drivers and ordinary folks.
Besides the twin tax cuts, Moreno urged the national government to provide affected Filipinos in all sectors with ayuda to ensure that families affected by escalating prices of food and other basic necessities will not go hungry while the national government tries to provide jobs for them.
“How I wish that what we have done in Manila for February and March of this year, I would be able to do for the whole country. How I wish,” the 47-year-old Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer said.
Moreno said the national government should look at all possible sources of funds to provide “help” to the reeling masses. It’s a huge thing to help today, with all honesty. But the truth is, it is still undeniable that every family really needs the help of the driver or the workers sector,” he pointed out.
The Manila mayor said it is for this reason that he is in favor of postponing the Dec. 5, 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections so that P8-billion funds allocated for the purpose could be used as aid and other urgent needs of the people in these difficult times.
“We really have to cushion the socio-economic impact of what is happening in our country due to the external situation,” he said.
“As I have said, we will find a way to help our people. And one of those is money or resources. So, if I am the one to be asked, let’s first extend that barangay election by another year, or a year and a half, then the money we will use in the election, we can use to help people, like gasoline, or to help people. food, or we will buy fertilizer and distribute it to the farmers,” Moreno said.
If he becomes president, among the funding sources being considered by Moreno is the P203-billion estate tax debts of the Marcoses.
“The aggregate amount of P203.819 billion, which the Marcos heirs owe the Filipino people, is such a big amount that Mayor Isko, if elected president, promised to give the money as “ayuda” to millions of our countrymen who lost their jobs during the pandemic,” said Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel in his March 9 letter to the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
In the meantime, Moreno said he, his vice-presidential candidate Doc Willie Ong, Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial bets Dr. Carl Balita, Samira Gutoc, and Jopet Sison along with guest senatorial candidate John Castriciones will continue to reach as many Novo Ecijanos as he can in as many places possible during his two-day sortie in the province.
Prior to Cabanatuan City, Team Isko held a town hall meeting in Cabiao town, and proceeded to the towns of San Isidro, Gapan and San Leonardo where thousands of Novo Ecijanos line up the streets to personally see and touch the hand of Moreno.