Holistic approach, not statistics should be basis for solutions — Magsaysay

Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay said that that figures and statistics should not be the only basis for declaring the inflation is “manageable,” as figures do not often reflect the true plight of the people.

“There are many for factors to consider such as whether wage earners in the country are earning enough to even cope with inflation rate that Malacañang is claiming to be lower than its projection of 3-5 percent,” she said. “Even if inflation is ‘manageable’, this does not mean that Filipinos are truly able to make ends meet with the problem bombarding them from all corners.”

In a recent Pulse Asia survey, 64-74 percent of the respondents stated that controlling inflation is among the most urgent issues that the administration needs to address owing to the skyrocketing prices of oil and petroleum products as well as the rising cost of raw materials in producing basic goods.

“The issue is growing more urgent now, with schools and universities declaring that they are going to impose tuition hikes for the upcoming school year,” she added. “Where are the minimum wage earners going to the funds to support their children’s education? And if this happens, more children will not be able to go to school so this relates to the problems in education.”

Wage increase is also among the primary concerns of 62 percent of those surveyed as backed by studies that the country’s wages are among those that have stagnated as compared to its Asian neighbors. Magsaysay has been among the lawmakers who have been vocal about seeking for a review of current wages in the country to see whether it can support the basic needs of Filipino families nationwide to truly address the issue of inflation, poverty and hunger.

“These issues are connected and must be addressed by a holistic perspective instead of looking at it at a micro perspective. Inflation is only one factor that affects the entirety and in order to truly solve the issue of what’s been oppressing our people, they must first understand what is the root cause and be open minded about offering alternatives instead of shooting down ideas such as lowered VAT before they have even given it a chance.”

In another news, Mitos Magsaysay urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to speed up consultations for wage hike and implement an increase in worker benefits in time for school enrollment.

“The issue of wage hike is not a new matter. The Labor department has been looking at this for quite a while now and it is high time to step on the gas and help workers with their upcoming major expenses especially since they are now reeling from inflation of utility, transport and cost of basic goods,” she said.

Magsaysay said that the DoLE must help workers find a way to cope with supporting and maintaining the needs of the Filipino family because current wages, especially of minimum wage owners barely make ends meet.

“What usually happens is that they have to borrow from friends and relatives, pawn their ATMs to loan sharks and until such time that they pay, the interests keep piling up. This effectively traps them into a loop of paying the interest without making a dent in the principal and this is a reality. If there is a way to ease their plight a little bit, we should do something about it.”

Magsaysay urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) TI to also ensure that the cost of school supplies will not increase excessively since this also contributes to the burdens of the parents sending their children to school.

“If raw materials of these supplies rise, and there is no choice, let us make sure that the increases are reasonable, but it will be ideal if the prices are maintained at the current state.”

Schools have already announced tuition hikes to support the expenses of academic institutions nationwide and it is feared that more students from private schools will not be able to pursue their education or transfer to public schools if their parents could not afford the new tuition rates.#