Palace preparing EO to curb rising inflation

September 12, 2018
Philippine Daily Inquirer (Genalyn Kabiling) |

The government is preparing a draft executive order (EO) that will adopt measures to curb the country’s high inflation.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the EO would seek to streamline the importation of food, among others, would be submitted by the economic managers to President Duterte.

“The economic cluster group will submit to the Office of the President a draft executive order removing administrative constraints and non-tariff barriers on importation of fish, rice, sugar, meat and vegetables,” Roque said during a Palace news conference.

“Ibig sabihin, gagawin nilang mas simple po iyong proseso ng pag-aangkat ng pagkain [This means they will facilitate a simpler proces of importing food],” he added.

Roque said the government’s economic managers have presented a document on the proposed measures to ease inflation during the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday.

The measures included simplifying and streamlining licensing procedures for rice imports of the National Food Authority (NFA) and proposed passage of rice tariffication bill.

“They will form monitoring teams for surveillance of rice from ports to NFA warehouses and outlets,” Roque said.

Roque said the economic team also proposed the issuance of certificates to allow imports to be distributed in wet markets, establishment of public markets were chicken producers can sell their product directly to the end consumer.

They also authorized the importation of sugar to direct users to moderate cost to consumers as well as improvement of logistics, transport distribution and storage to reduce prices to consumers.

He said the medium to long term measures include to provide better access to farming technologies, promote research and development, develop resilient and high yielding varieties of rice, promote utilization of high yielding variety of crops, reassess the country’s planting season and crop viability in each region, and for local government units to aggressively impose the idle land tax.

On the fisheries sector, Roque said the economic team also proposed the review and possible amendment of the fisheries code and other policies governing the sector.

“Sa legislation, introduce tariffication for sugar, fish, meat and vegetables,” he added.

The country’s inflation reached 6.4 percent last August, exceeding government forecasts. The inflation spike has been attributed to high prices of rice, fish, vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, among others.