THE SENATE committee on economic affairs has summoned the government’s economic managers to discuss today rising inflation and possible measures to mitigate its impact.

Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, who chairs the committee, expressed concern over rising food prices, which are the main component of the inflation basket.

“We need to identify and implement a strong plan-of-action to get this inflation under control and make sure our countrymen have enough food to put on the table for their families,” he said in a statement.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the inflation hit 4% in January primarily due to a 4.5% price increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Among those invited to the hearing are National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto M. Pernia and Department of Finance (DoF) Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua.

Also invited were academic economists Dr. Christina M. Bautista of Ateneo De Manila University, Dr. Alvin P. Ang and Dr. Cielito F. Habito of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development (ACRED), University of the Philippines School of Economics (UPSE) Dean Dr. Orville Jose C. Solon as well as National Scientist Dr. Raul V. Fabella.

Susan T. Bulan of the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) as well as Jenina Joy Chavez and Karla Michelle Yu of the Action for Economic Reforms (AER) are also expected to attend.

Mr. Gatchalian said he will also ask for updates on the effects of Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law on the purchasing power and behavior of consumers.

He will also seek updates on the status of the expanded cash transfer program intended for the 10 million poorest families in the country to keep up with the higher daily expenses as a result of the TRAIN law. — Camille A. Aguinaldo