BUTUAN CITY, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday, March 9, called on the Duterte administration to act swiftly as fuel prices soared to record highs at the pumps.
Robredo said the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the key driver for the current spike in oil prices, is developing at a fast pace every day.
“The government should act quickly. There is no time to spare,” Robredo told transport representatives, medical personnel, and students who attended the town hall meeting at the Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City.
Robredo said the government has already received a bundle of proposed measures aimed to ease the impact of the war between Ukraine and Russia on the local economy.
She said they too have some proposed measures like the suspension of the excise tax for oil products and immediate distribution of fuel subsidies to food producers and transport drivers.
Her running mate, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, said analysts predict that prices per liter of gasoline may increase from P68 to P77 while diesel prices could go up to P59 to P73 a liter.
“These would directly hurt the economy and our people will again go hungry,” Pangilinan said during the town hall meeting.
Pangilinan said prices of bread and flour-based products would go up next and would hurt Filipinos who are heavy carbohydrate consumers.
Robredo said the government should decide on which measures it to adopt before it became “too late.” – Rappler.com
Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship