Salinlahi to Duterte: Address the soaring prices of basic commodities

“Wala na ngang trabaho at sapat na ayuda para sa mahihirap, sinabayan pa ito ng sumisirit na presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin. Lahat na ng klase ng pagtitipid at paghihigpit ng sinturon ay ginagawa ng mga tao makaraos lamang sa araw-araw. Mamamatay na dilat ang mga mata sa gutom ang mamamayan kapag hindi kumilos ang pamahalaan para bigyang solusyon ang problema,” said Eule Rico Bonganay, secretary general of Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns in response to the soaring prices of basic commodities which resulted to greater suffering of marginalized families.

According to Bonganay, even the daily minimum wage of workers in National Capital Region (NCR) which is pegged at Php537.00 can no longer keep up with upsurge in prices of basic commodities. There should be an immediate and concrete intervention from the national government including the distribution of emergency cash assistance among vulnerable families while addressing the issue of unemployment and the lack of decent wage for Filipino workers.

“Hindi sasapat na puro monitoring lamang ang ginagawa ng pamahalaan dahil ang inaasahan ng mamamayan ay mabilis at konkretong aksyon para bumaba ang presyo ng mga bilihin at maibsan ang kanilang paghihirap. Ano na ang nangyare sa Social Amelioration Program (SAP) na hanggang sa ngayon ay hindi pa rin lubusang naipapamahagi? Paano naman ang ayuda para sa mga hinagupit ng bagyong Rolly at Ulysses?” added Bonganay.

The year 2021 started as tough as the last one. With still unresolved problems rooted from the pandemic and the series typhoons, majority of Filipino children and their families have been struggling to survive daily.

While the COVID-19 continuously spreads all over the country, children and their families have to keep their immune systems up and stay healthy as a primary defense against the virus. “Now that the prices of meat and vegetable have doubled, it is nearly impossible for children and families to get enough nutrition they need,” he said.

On the other hand, Salinlahi said that instead of availing pricy vaccines with low efficacy rate, the government should effectively use the country’s resources in procuring cheaper vaccines with high efficacy rates. “Dapat nating bantayan kung paano ginagastos ng pamahalaan ang pondo mula sa ating mga buwis. Wala na ngang makain ang mamamayan, maaksaya pa ang kaban ng bayan dahil sa maanomalyang pagbili ng mga bakuna,” Bonganay pointed out.

Since there seem no in sight to the health and economic crisis, it is an immense challenge for Filipino people to demand accountability from the current administration. “Hindi natin inaasahan na magkukusa itong gobyerno ni Duterte na kumilos para sa interes ng mamamayan. Kaya isang malaking hamon sa ating lahat na magkaisa at igiit ang karapatan at kapakanan ng mga bata at mamamayan sa gitna ng patong-patong na mga suliraning panlipunan. ###