On Inflation: Duterte, NFA and Trump?

The Philippines has experienced a high 6.4% inflation rate in August 2018.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said it’s due to US President Donald Trump’s imposing higher tariffs on goods.

Some government officials though believed otherwise.

A senator said that inflation in the Philippines is self-inflicted.

“A big part of our inflation problem is self-inflicted, it is internal,” said Senator Ralph Recto who once head the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). (Phil Star)

Senator Francis Pangilinan noticed that in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), only the Philippines has high inflation rate.

Thus it could not be Pres. Trump’s tariff policies according to the Senator.

He said high inflation was caused by poor economic policies. (dzMM).

Several agencies of the government has issued a joint statement on August 2018 inflation five days ago.

July’s inflation rate was 5.7%.

What will bring down prices for Filipino families?

The joint statement states:

“A committed effort from the government:

1. In the agricultural sector

* to boost supply of agricultural products

2. Introduction of policy reforms.

3. Reducing food prices.

On rice supply issues, the joint statement claimed that there are 4.6 million sacks of rice available on NFA warehouses.

And that these will be released to the markets across the country

Another 2 million sacks of rice are expected to be delivered before the end of September

And another 5 million sacks of rice will be arriving within the next one and half months.

And still another 5 million sacks of rice will be imported early next year.

How do Filipino families benefit from these million sacks of rice?

They fall in line to avail of the cheap price of the NFA rice which are sold on 5-kgs bag.

Picture taken at Pasig Mega Market. (Photo credit to PhilStar)

The NFA rice is sold at P27/kg and there is also P32/kg.

Some consumers start going to the market as early as 4:30am for the 7:00 am opening of the rice stalls.

Each can only buy 5 kilos of rice.

They need to pay P4 for the brown bag in some markets.

Price of commercial rice ranges from P43/kg up.

How long will this last?

The President said they are trying to control inflation.

“There is really inflation in the Philippines and we’re trying to control it,” he told Filipinos in Jordan during his visit on September 7.

As to how long the Filipinos will suffer from these effects of inflation no one knows.

According to DZBB reports, in some markets a rice vendor is only delivered 600 kgs of rice which can be sold in 3-4 days.

Hold on Filipinos!

An excerpt from the joint statement.

On rice supply issues, 4.6 million sacks of rice available in NFA warehouses will be immediately released to the market across the country. We also expect approximately 2.0 million sacks of rice previously contracted to be delivered before the end of September. In addition, the NFA Council authorized the importation of 5.0 million sacks that will be arriving over the next one and half months and another 5.0 million sacks will be imported early next year.

The agencies which issued the joint statement includes the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget Management (DBM), NEDA, Department of Agriculture (DA), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) and National Food Authority (NFA). (https://www.dof.gov.ph/index.php/joint-statement/)

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