PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, said there is no need for him to be granted special powers by the Congress in order to address inflation, which stood at 8.7 percent in January.

In an interview with reporters in Manila City, Marcos said his administration has already initiated interventions to mitigate the deliberating effects of the rapid increase in prices of consumer goods and services at a certain period of time.

“I do not think that it is necessary to ask for special powers. If we declare, for example, if we can declare… I already have the power to declare an emergency and to control the prices of commodities. So I don’t think there is any need for more than that, that is sufficient,” he said.

The President cited the launch of urban agriculture programs that seek to improve sustainable food practices at the barangay level.

“The other elements of inflation hindi natin masyadong ma-control, kaya mayroon tayong ginagawang ganito para makabawi naman doon sa pagtaas ng presyo,” he said.

(We cannot control the other elements of inflation, that is why we have these programs to make up for the increasing prices.)

Marcos earlier expressed optimism that the country’s inflation rate will start to come down in the first quarter of the year and continue to return to normalcy in the following months.

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) has said the administration has identified measures to keep food price movements consistent with the government’s inflation and food security objectives, with higher agricultural productivity, food supply augmentation and energy security seen as priorities to temper upward price pressures.

Earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projected that inflation for February would range from 8.5 to 9.3 percent.

The elevated prices of key food items, such as pork, fish, eggs, sugar, and cooking gas, have been attributed to the increase in inflation. However, these factors are expected to be countered by the lower prices of domestic petroleum, fruits, vegetables, chicken, and beef. (SunStar Philippines)