LOCAL ECONOMY CHECK. Councilor George Goking (right) joins the city price coordinating council inspecting team to check the prices of basic commodities in Cagayan de Oro’s malls and major supermarkets on June 1, 2022. Goking also proposed for the Philippine Councilors League to organize a national summit to discuss pressing economic issues. (Photo courtesy of CDO Councilor George Goking)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A City Council member here has called on the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) to organize a national economic summit here after all elected officials are sworn into office next month.

In an interview Monday, Councilor George Goking underscored the need for the government’s policymakers “to sit down and discuss the looming economic crisis” and to draw up both short-term and long-term solutions before the situation could worsen.

 “We cannot wait any longer. This problem has to be addressed right away, or it will worsen and spiral out of control,” Goking said.

Goking, the city’s trade and commerce chairman, is concurrently the  PCL’s regional head for Northern Mindanao. He also sits on the PCL national board as a regional representative.

Aside from the PCL officers, Goking said the attendance of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his cabinet would be necessary to show the people that the new administration is “hitting the economic crunch head-on.”

If the PCL board agrees to hold the summit here, Goking vowed to personally make all the necessary arrangements for the convention site and accommodation.

“It should be held at the earliest in July. We must not delay it. We need concrete solutions now,” Goking said.

He said one of the issues that the Marcos Jr. presidency must focus on is the fuel price increase.

Oil deregulation law

In the past several weeks, pump prices of gasoline and diesel have gone up to record-high.

Goking said the government should revisit the oil deregulation law and check if it can be amended to suit current demands.

Passed in 1998, Republic Act 8479, or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, removed government control on the pricing, exportation, and importation of petroleum products, allowing market forces to dictate oil prices.

“We must take a look at it (oil deregulation law) again because this fuel price increase is hurting all of us,” he added.

Goking said that based on the city price coordinating council's recent monitoring, it was observed that many of the cheaper items like canned sardines and milk products are no longer in stock.

“They blamed the delay in shipment saying many of their stocks have not yet arrived, but that’s not possible,” Goking said.

To ensure that there is enough supply of necessities, Goking has suggested to supermarket owners double their inventory. (PNA)