Government sure of adequate food supply and stable prices
NEDA assures adequate supply, stable prices of prime commodities
MANILA – The government through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) today said they are committed to stabilizing prices through regular augmentation of food supply along with the unhampered flow of goods during the enhanced community quarantine within the Metro Manila and four other nearby provinces
In a statement, NEDA said the Philippine Statistics Authority disclosed that the country’s headline inflation rate fell to 4.5 percent in March 2021, from 4.7 percent in February. According to NEDA, this is the first easing of the inflation rate since September 2020.
They said the slower inflation in March 2021 was due to the decrease in the price indices for major food items. Inflation eased for vegetables (8.3 percent from 16.7 percent), fruits (3,9 percent from 7.4 percent), and fish (4.9 percent from 5.1 percent).
The supply of vegetables and fruits increased given better weather conditions and the onset of the harvest season for choice agricultural products. However, the continued supply deficiency in meat, specifically pork, means that it remains the leading driver of inflation at 20.9 percent from 20.7 percent in the previous month.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendric T. Chua said the lower inflation rate recorded for March shows the government’s decisive policies are working. He said higher fish imports complemented the close of fishing season that led to lower inflation for fish which is especially important in the face of elevated meat inflation.
“We will continue to address supply issues and logistics bottlenecks to ensure price stability, especially for food and essential goods,” Secretary Chua added.
While it is outside the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ target range of 2.0 to 4.0 percent, the lower inflation rate recorded in March is considered a good indicator of price stabilization as the government expects the succeeding inflation rates to align with targets soon as a result of additional proactive measures.
“The President has already proposed to Congress the increase in the minimum access volume of pork. A temporary decrease in pork tariffs is also being considered. These will help lower our inflation rate further and keep it within the government’s targets,” he added. (Melo M. Acuña)
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendric T. Chua. (File Photo/Melo M. Acuna)