A LAWMAKER on Monday called on the House leadership to include in its priority list measures that will mitigate the impact of rising prices on consumers as the country’s October inflation rose to 7.7%, the fastest in 14 years.    

“Tackling inflation reduction measures such as VAT (value-added tax) exemption on basic goods should be a priority right now,” Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene D. Brosas said in a statement.   

“Unfortunately, we don’t see any inflation reduction measure in the list of bills to be approved by Congress before yearend,” she said.   

Ms. Brosas, with Reps. France L. Castro of ACT-Teachers and Raoul Danniel A. Manuel of Kabataan, have filed two measures, House Bills 400 and 5504, that seek to scrap VAT on petroleum products and other basic commodities.   

“We urge the House leadership to reconsider its priorities and stand by Filipinos demanding urgent price reduction right now.”  

She also said Congress should tackle a legislated wage increase to help workers cope with the rising cost of living.   

“Wage boards should take action and discuss the urgent need to raise salaries before next year,” she said.   

The Social Weather Stations reported 11.3% of Filipino families experienced hunger in July to September, the first three months of the Marcos administration, which was equivalent to 2.9 million people. It was slightly lower than the 11.6% in June. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo