Former VP Jejomar Binay on the campaign trail in Zambales.

Former VP Jejomar Binay on the campaign trail in Zambales.

Senatorial candidate and former Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday urged authorities to protect sectors severely affected by the pandemic from the possible negative economic effects of a prolonged conflict in Ukraine.

Binay, who is running for senator under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said government should be ready with mitigation measures.

These include fuel subsidies for public utility drivers, cash or food subsidies for the poor, and price ceilings on basic goods.

“Kailangang maging handa at maagap, para hindi madagdagan ang naghihirap (We need to be prepared at all times so as to prevent more Filipinos from sinking further into poverty),” Binay said.

The former vice president said oil prices have been increasing because of the Ukraine conflict. “If the conflict drags on, it would also lead to price increases of basic goods,” Binay said.

“This would be felt hardest by those who have yet to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Dagdag na pasanin ito ng marami nating kababayan na hindi pa rin naiibsan ang hirap na dulot ng pandemya (This is an added burden to poor Filipinos still reeling from the ill effects of the pandemic),” he added.

Should government impose price ceilings on basic goods, Binay said this should be strictly imposed. Offenders should be penalized immediately.

“Dapat mahigpit na ipatupad ang price ceiling sa basic goods. Yung magsasamantala, parusahan agad (Price ceiling should be strictly enforced. Violators should be severely punished),” he stressed.

Binay also said cash and food subsidies for the poorest of the poor must be among the mitigation measures.

“Maghanda ng dagdag na ayuda para sa tunay na nangangailangan, cash or food subsidies. At tiyakin na makakarating ito agad sa kanila (We should provide cash or food subsidies. We must ensure that aid reaches those who need them most),” Binay added.

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