NEDA warns of possible headwinds ahead
Vigilance needed vs risks to inflation outlook
MANILA – Vigilance would be a requirement and preparations for possible risks of inflation in the Philippines. This was the message of the National Economic and Development Authority in a statement today.
Headline inflation eased to 2.6 percent in February 2020, lower than the 2.9 percent recorded in January and 3.8 percent inflation listed in February 2019.
The year-to-date inflation reached 2.8 percent, within the government’s target range of 2.0 to 4.0 percent for the year.
“While inflation is expected to remain well within the target for this year, government must not be complacent and ensure that strategies are well-positioned against risks brought by continuous spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), tighter rice supply from Thailand, and the on-going outbreak of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019),” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernest M. Pernia said.
He called on his colleagues in the national and local levels to stand ready in managing the demand and supply of key agricultural commodities which will possible be affected by the said risks.
The socioeconomic planning executive highlighted the reported oversupply of vegetables and possible delayed arrival of imported products due to production and logistics disruption in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. He added that providing post-harvest facilities including cold storage and other logistics support are necessary to assist the affected producers and consumers.
He called for the strict implementation of the national zoning and movement plan and the 1-7-10 protocol to prevent and control the spread of ASF to other areas.
The said protocol requires all hogs within one0kilometer radius from the ASF-affected area are to be culled. Within the seven-kilometer radius, there will be control in movement, shipment and sale of hogs. Within the 10-kilometer radius, all hogs will be placed under monitoring.
Pernia said there is a need to effectively utilize the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to improve rice production the the country.
“We also need to closely monitor other developments particularly those that may cause disruptions in the global supply chains to the spread of COVID-19,” he concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia in file photo. (NEDA Facebook page)