NEDA: Tighter Policies Needed Than Inflation

The National Economics and Development Authority (NEDA) said the government needs to step up its policy intervention on supply adequacy, agricultural productivity and targeted aid to curb inflation.

In a statement late Tuesday, NEDA said the government must ensure a stable food supply to cushion the impact of rising commodity prices amid the global energy crisis.

“The government must immediately address the logistical difficulties in order to complement the state program “Plant, Plant, Plant 2”. As the country’s inflation rate continues to rise, we must continue to accelerate our policies to make sure Filipinos can still commute to work and bring enough healthy food to their tables,” said Socio-Economic Planning Minister Arsenio Balisacan.

The country’s headline inflation accelerated to 6.1 percent in June 2022 from 5.4 percent in the previous month, the Philippine Statistics Office said. This figure is within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projected range of 5.7 to 6.5 percent for June 2022.

Due to faster inflation for meat, fish, vegetables, and rice, food inflation remained the main driver of growth as it rose further to 6.4 percent from 5.2 percent in May 2022.

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Meanwhile, non-food inflation was recorded higher at 6.0 percent in June from 5.6 percent in the previous month. This was primarily due to an increase in inflation in transport to 17.1 percent from 14.6 percent in May, which was caused by the volatility of world prices for crude oil.

To mitigate the impact of higher fuel prices on low-income households, the Department of Social Welfare and Development began distributing the first tranche of the Targeted Cash Transfer Program on July 4, 2022.

In addition, to alleviate the burden of high oil prices on qualified tricycle drivers, the Department of the Interior and Local Government announced that more than 600,000 qualified tricycle drivers will receive fuel cash subsidies through the Pantawid Pasada Tricycle Driver Program.

In addition, the Libreng Sakay program for all EDSA bus carousel passengers has been extended until December 2022. The Department of Transportation will also implement Libreng Sakay for LRT 2 students and Philippine National Railways in the first quarter of the 2022 academic year. -2023 or from Aug. from November 22, 2022 to November. 02/04/2022, taking into account the resumption of full-time classes.

“To further conserve energy and keep everyone safe in the face of a growing number of cases of Covid-19, we must also consider the need to promote alternative forms of work if they are proven to work and increase productivity, and encourage the use of alternative working methods. modes of transport,” Balisakan said.

“In the long term, alternative modes of transport can reduce the pressure on transport costs and reduce dependence on global fuels. This will also contribute to the development of cleaner and more sustainable transport,” he added.