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Aug 7, 2018 @ 17:18

Eco team begs for rice tariffs as inflation hits new high


Angry lawmakers should realize that a big solution to inflation is on their hands.

The Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, and National Economic and Development Authority issued a joint statement calling for policy reforms to bring down consumer prices, as inflation surged further to 5.7 percent in July.

“The current price pressures emanate mainly from supply-side factors. Addressing supply constraints to curb inflation is the utmost priority of the government,” the economic team said.

Food prices spiked year-on-year in July due to limited supply of rice. A string of typhoons also pushed prices of other agricultural products due to supply issues.

The economic managers again stressed the need to pass the Agricultural Tariffication Act to replace restrictions on rice imports, as this will “significantly improve” rice supply, bringing down the price of the grain.

“This reform in agriculture will also provide a PhP10-billion enhancement fund for rice farmers that will help them have better access to technology and, thereby, ramp up their production,” they said.

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