Ayuda na naman! Marcos, economic managers tackle how to address inflation

The government is looking at providing financial aid anew to the poor as part of aggressive steps to combat high inflation, rising interest rates and a record-low exchange rate.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said he and other members of the economic team met with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday morning to discuss what he called “short term challenges.”

Asked whether a suspension of excise tax or value-added taxes on fuel products is being considered, Balisacan said the government prefers to provide fuel subsidies to the poorest instead.

“Of course we are looking at the short-term issues, the continuing inflation and ensuring that as we address these short-term issues, we are mindful that we’ll not abandon the medium-term goals,” the economics professor said.

“So, yes, the intention is to address this particularly providing assistance to the most vulnerable and poverty groups by continuing the subsidy programs, for example, that are currently extended by DSWD – our cash subsidy programs, our assistance for farmers and fisherfolk, to our drivers and so on,” he added. “But most importantly we are monitoring also the developments closely so that we can deploy our monetary tools like the interest rate for example and how we can intervene in the financial market to tame, including the depreciation of the peso.”

“We just have to put the economy to a higher growth trajectory so that we can achieve more jobs, high quality jobs and reduce poverty rapidly. That’s the overall architecture of the plan,” he added.

Swiss freeze nearly $8B in Russian assets

Switzerland said Thursday that it has to date frozen a total of 7.5 billion Swiss francs ($7.9 billion) in Russian assets, in connection with the sanctions imposed over Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

HSAC Techs Up with UnionBank’s UPAY for digital settlement of fees

The Human Settlements Adjudication Commission (HSAC) has signed a memorandum of agreement with Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) for a partnership that will allow HSAC to digitize the payment of fees for its services. The signing ceremony took place last November 23 at the HSAC Office in Quezon City.