Malacañang claims credit for slower inflation in December

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A poultry seller readies her chickens for another day of business at the wet market of the Nepa Market in Quezon City. AP

MANILA – Inflation last December was slower due to effective initiatives by the Executive department, the Palace said Friday.

The 5.1 percent inflation rate, the lowest since June 2018, proves that the government provided the people with the remedies against prices of basic goods and services, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Among the initiatives Panelo cited were:

  • Administrative Order 13 which removed administrative constraints and non-tariff barriers in the importation of agricultural products such as meat, fish and rice
  • Memorandum 26, 27, and 28 which directs the Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry to adopt measures to reduce the gap between farmgate prices and retail prices of agricultural products

The memos prompted the Agriculture department, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Philippine National Police, and the Metro Manila Development Authority to ensure efficient and seamless delivery of imported agricultural products from ports to markets.

The National Food Authority was also ordered to immediately release around 230,000 metric tons of rice from its warehouses across the country.

“These helped stabilize prices of agriculture and fishery products at reasonable levels and maintained their sufficient supply in our markets,” Panelo said.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the inflation rate slowed down due to slower yearly increases in prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, and transport.

The average inflation rate for the whole of 2018, however, reached 5.2 percent – an 11-year high – according to the statistics office.

“The President and this administration will not fall into complacency. Filipinos can expect that we will remain vigilant as we continue to monitor the prices of basic goods and commodities, and implement measures to further ease the burden of our countrymen,” Panelo said. (GMA News)

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