MANILA, Philippines – National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) on Tuesday called for a review on the existing tariff levels on rice.
This check is meant to lower the cost of the produce amid rising inflation.
Neda made the pronouncement after Philippine Statistics Authority announced an increase in the country’s inflation rate.
From 4.7 percent in July, inflation rate rose to 5.3 percent in August.
This new figure brings the average inflation rate since January to 6.6 percent.
According to Neda, rice prices increased to 8 percent in August from 4 percent in July 2023.
The cost of vegetables, on the other hand, rose to 31 percent from 21 percent.
“To partially counterbalance the rise in global prices and alleviate the impact on consumers and households, we may implement a temporary and calibrated reduction in tariffs,” Neda Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement released by Presidential Communications Office.
Baliscan notes the impact of lowering tariffs on local producers should be considered, once this kind of price intervention has been put in place.
Apart from reduced tariffs, Neda also recommended the swift recovery of agricultural production in typhoon-affected areas.
Despite the rise in inflation rate, the effects of severe weather conditions on food supplies and trade limitations imposed by other countries, the agency’s objective of achieving an inflation rate between 2 and 4 percent by end of 2023 remains.
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