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Friday, May 24, 2024

Imee eager to combat hunger, inflation head on

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SENATOR Imee Marcos is ready and willing to go to war —against hunger and skyrocketing prices of basic commodities.

In a TV interview on Friday, Marcos stressed that every Filipino family’s priority now is fighting inflation and being able to put food on the table.

“Ang hirap hirap ng ating buhay ngayon, pati bigas problematic. Yun na ang tutukan natin. Ang laban sa gutom ang unahin, huwag yung laban sa mga kapitbahay (Life is so difficult these days. Even rice is problematic. That should be our priority, the fight against hunger, not the quarrel with neighbors,” Marcos said, responding to questions involving rising tensions between the Philippines and China on the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The Philippines’ overall inflation increased to 3.7 percent in March 2024 from 3.4 percent in the previous month, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Food inflation at the national level increased to 5.7 percent from 4.8 percent during the same comparative period,  mainly caused by a slower year-on-year reduction in vegetables, plantains, and bananas, among others.

Marcos, who chairperson of  the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations stressed however, that Filipinos were right to stand their ground against “bullying” in the disputed waters. She added that advocating for a peaceful solution to the crisis does not mean giving up on the country’s claims.

“Hindi ko sinasabi na kailanman i-a-atras natin ang ating karapatan at yung ating teritoryo… Ipagtanggol natin yang sinumpaan namin bilang opisyal, ipagtanggol ang buhay at kabuhayan ng bawat Pilipino (I never said to back out from our rights over our territory. Defend it since it is our duty as government officials, defend the life and livelihood of every Filipino),” the senator said.

“I really don’t want to put any Filipino in an awkward position,” she said.

Marcos reiterated calls for a multilateral approach with all claimant states namely, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China to maintain peace in the region. Aside from constant dialogue, she proposed joint patrols by these states may be conducted in the disputed waters.

“Anything is better than war. Kailangan gawin natin ang lahat upang maibsan ang init diyan at maiwasan ang giyera (We have to do everything to defuse the tension (at the WPS) and avoid armed confrontation,) she said.”

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