MalacaAang considering all options to cushion oil price hikes

MANILA President Rodrigo Duterte has assured the public that he will consider all possible options to mitigate the impact of oil price hikes particularly to the poor, MalacaAan g said Monday.

The assurance of the President: We (will) not just sit down. We will consider all options and if we can find solution, we will look for it, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque said importing diesel from Russia is one of the options being looked into to cushion the impact of the oil price increases to the country's inflation rate.

Right now, our priority is to try to import diesel from Russia because Russia is not a member of OPEC and it increased production that is expected to lower the prices, Roque said.

We have already standing order and this week, we expect to the Department of Energy and Foreign Affairs to hasten the possibility of importing cheaper diesel at least from Russia, he added.

He said the President has directed the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to run after companies which violate the suggested retail price.

On the growing call to suspend the implementation of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, Roque said the proposal needs approval of Congress.

If the President will suspend it, that's a violation of the Constitution. We are not lawmakers, he said.

He, however, said that the executive department is ready to stop the TRAIN implementation but Congress will have to pass another law suspending the tax reform measure.

If there will be law, we will follow that we will not collect it. But my appeal, this crisis is not permanent.

Everything is being considered by the government because it is unacceptable that we are doing nothing, he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency