Stella Quimbo hits paltry P200 ‘ayuda’ for poor: ‘Di pa makakabili ng candy!

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Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo expressed dismay over President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to give a P200 cash assistance to poor families monthly instead of suspending fuel excise taxes.

In an interview on One News’ “The Chiefs” Wednesday, March 16, Quimbo said P200 will not suffice for a poor Filipino family’s needs.

“If we divide that [amount] by 30 days and we divide that by five—because there are five members in a family—that’s P1.33 per person, per day,” said Quimbo, an economist.

“You can’t even buy candy, because candy is now P1.75, so the amount is clearly not meaningful,” she added.

The lawmaker said it would be better if Duterte ordered the suspension of excise taxes on fuel, which would benefit a larger sector of the population.

The Department of Finance has opposed the proposal to suspend fuel excise tax collection, saying the government will lose over P105 billion if it pushed through.

Quimbo, however, said giving a P200 monthly cash assistance to poor families will cost the government some P33 billion, or a third of the supposed foregone revenues from suspending fuel excise tax collection.

“In short, that’s four months’ worth of suspending excise tax collections. So in my head, you’re better off suspending excise taxes for four months rather than give P1.33 per person, per day,” she said.