Start deliberations on PBBM special powers

Economist-lawmaker Joey Salceda yesterday urged House Speaker Martin Romualdez to start deliberations on his proposed Bayan Bangon Muli bill, which seeks to grant the President special powers to address the increasing prices of basic goods in the country.

“Food inflation continues to be on a rapid momentum, from 4.9 percent in May, to 6.0 percent in June to 6.9 percent in July. While there are indications that the momentum is shifting, if all indications are correct, every month will continue to have higher year-on-year inflation than the previous month,” Salceda, Albay representative, said.

“I have strongly recommended to the House leadership that we take up the Bayan Bangon Muli special powers bill that I filed even without the appropriations component, to ensure that the President has the latitude to manage price, supply and logistics bottlenecks,” he added.

Salceda filed House Bill 2227 seeking to grant President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. the following powers: Anti-hoarding power, power to incentivize production of critical goods and services, power to provide loans and loan guarantees to private firms for price and supply stabilization, grant of direct loans to private companies, and loan guarantees.

He also proposed that the President be given the anti-price gouging powers, powers to declare and resolve a transport emergency, power to mobilize military and uniformed services to expedite the delivery of essential goods and services, and power to constitute inter-agency working groups.

Salceda averred that adjustments in monetary policy can be used only to adjust to global conditions, but they are not substitutes to supply and price solutions in the real economy.

“Fuel price inflation, on the other hand, is beginning to slow down. This could indicate that the world is starting to adjust to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and alternative sources or modes of purchase are being undertaken by various market participants. Barring any major developments, I expect fuel price inflation to slow down even further to below 5 percent by November,” he explained.

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