PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is setting aside for now the plan to shift to a federal form of government as the government veers its full attention to taming the soaring prices of commodities, Malacañang said yesterday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the administration opted to prioritize addressing inflation right now, noting that a lot of work is still needed for the government’s federalism push.
“Right now the foremost priority of the administration is fighting inflation. So everything is sidelined now… Even the administration acknowledges na mas importanteng harapin ‘yung issue na malapit sa sikmura ng taumbayan [It is much important to address the issues that are closer to the stomach of the people],” Roque said in his regular press briefing yesterday.
“Bagama’t hindi po natin inaabandona ang pederalismo, darating tayo d’yan. Pero alam po natin na kinakailangan pa ng mas maraming diskusyon, mas marami pang pag-aaral at mas marami pang dissemination na dapat gawin para sa pederalismo,” he added.
Roque made the statement after Charter change landed at the bottom of Filipinos’ concerns, according to a survey from Pulse Asia. Inflation, meanwhile, was ranked as the most pressing issue the government should address immediately.
The Palace official noted that the Duterte administration is determined in addressing inflation citing the four orders recently signed by the President, which seek to ease the importation and release of agricultural products in the market.
“Kinikilala po namin ang problema sa pagtaas ng presyo, pero ang aming assurance po ay hindi po natutulog sa pansitan ang ating Presidente… last Tuesday sinabi ko po ‘yung apat na issuance ng Presidente para labanan po itong pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin,” Roque said.
Roque said the government is optimistic that the effects of these efforts will be felt.
However, Roque noted that once Congress finishes its budget deliberations next month, it can discuss the proposed Charter change.