Salceda wants special powers for Marcos to curtail price increases

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House Committee on Ways and Means chairperson Albay Rep. Joey Salceda has propose the adoption of policies to prevent any worsening situation because of the high prices which led to an inflation rate of 6.1% in June.

“I have already submitted to the incoming Speaker, Rep. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, a proposal for a Bayan Bangon Muli package that integrates a significant number of special powers to curtail price increases,” Salceda said.

Among the special powers that were proposed by Salceda are the following:

Anti-hoarding powers. Under this power, no person shall accumulate (1) in excess of the reasonable demands of business, personal, or home consumption, or (2) for the purpose of resale at prices in excess of prevailing market prices, goods or services which have been designated by the President as scarce materials

Powers to incentivize production. Under this power, the President may provide appropriate incentives to develop, maintain, modernize, restore, and expand the productive capacities of domestic sources for critical components, critical technology items, materials, and industrial resources essential for price and supply stabilization.

Powers to provide loans and guarantees to suppliers of essential goods.

Anti-price-gouging powers. It shall be unlawful under this power to sell essential goods at “unconscionably excessive” prices. This is not a price cap, so it will still allow suppliers the incentive to supply, but will not allow taking undue advantage of constrained supply conditions.

Motu propio powers of DOE, PhCC, and DTI to investigate for possible market abuse in the energy and essential goods sectors

Transport emergency powers. This will empower the President to make use of private roads, expedite public projects, conduct alternative working arrangements, and temporarily control facilities around ports and airports to address supply bottlenecks.

Power to mobilize uniformed personnel to expedite programs and projects. This will allow the President to use units of the military and the uniformed services, such as AFP engineers, members of the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Philippine Coast Guard, and others to expedite the completion of infrastructure projects, or to ease transport bottlenecks. What comes to mind is road repairs near and around ports, which can cause traffic, higher logistics costs, and supply delays.

“I have also proposed integrating agriculture and food security in government training programs, expanding DA farmer assistance programs, and mechanisms to manage food surpluses, so we do not throw food away when we produce more of it, and instead save them for future use.,” he added.

The solon also proposed means to expand supply through MSME assistance.

“We hope to make it easier for MSMEs supplying critical goods to register and set-up shop, by reducing documentary and administrative requirements, most irritatingly including now-useless requirements such as the cedula,” Salceda said.

During the effectivity of the proposal (18 months), Salceda said President Marcos may also require a minimum petroleum inventory and have petroleum companies explain significant price changes.

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