From “tapang at malasakit” to “gapang at pasakit.” This is how Akbayan Partylist described the rule of Rodrigo Duterte, who was dubbed “President Pahirap” by the partylist organization, as it formalized its bid in the upcoming midterm elections in May 2019.

“Amid rising inflation, self-rated poverty, and hunger, ‘President Pahirap’ Duterte remains clueless on solutions to our country’s economic woes. Regularly blaming inflation on the world market is just a lazy, incompetent, and callous excuse,” said first nominee and incumbent Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin.

“The higher prices go, the lower Filipinos’ quality of life gets. By filing our certificate of candidacy, Akbayan Partylist offers the people a relief package--an Anti-Taas Presyo Package--to provide poor Filipinos breathing space and prevent them from drowning in the tide of inflation,” Villarin added.

To mitigate the effects of “President Pahirap” Duterte‘s inability to address an impending economic crisis, Akbayan Partylist vows to enact its Anti-Taas Presyo Package with six key points of action:

     1. Review the TRAIN law and suspend the increases in excise tax on petroleum products

     2. Unconditional cash transfers for the poorest 10 million Filipinos affected by TRAIN

     3. Nationwide increase in workers’ minimum wages

     4. Regulated rice importation and improved rice production to ensure rice sufficiency

     5. Investments on infrastructure projects that will generate jobs and boost development

     6. Lower the value-added tax (VAT) to cushion the effects of increasing prices of goods

Akbayan Partylist third nominee and former municipal councilor Doris Obena echoed the hardships that poor Filipino families, especially mothers, regularly face just to make ends meet.

“As a mother, I see how things have truly changed for the worse. Less and less can be bought with a budget that stays the same. We hope that by pushing for the Anti-Taas Presyo package, the future will not be as bleak,” she remarked.

For his part, Akbayan Partylist second nominee and former National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairperson Gio Tingson is hopeful that the Filipino people will choose leaders who offer solutions, neither jokes nor empty promises.

“Real problems require real solutions. The choices that we will make in the coming months will shape not only our present economic situation but also the future of more generations to come,” he stressed. #