Palace proposes measures to address food inflation

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DAVAO CITY (September 12) —- The Palace is now doing immediate and medium-term measures to curb food inflation in the country.

This, after consumers complained about the  high prices of agricultural products in the market.

The prices of vegetables  soared during the last two weeks, even vegetable-producing regions felt the increase.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.  during the Wednesday press briefing said,  the Cabinet Economic Development Cluster during yesterday’s Cabinet Meeting proposed measures for agriculture, fishery, and legislation to ease rising prices.

The Cabinet Economic Development Cluster is planning to simplify and streamline the licensing procedure for rice imports of the NFA, form a monitoring team for surveillance of rice from ports to NFA warehouses and retail outlets, and urge the Senate to immediately pass the Rice Tariffication Bill within the month as part of the immediate measures.

Roque stressed the immediate measures will address the problems on the prices of  fish, chicken, sugar, and vegetables.

Imported fish will be distributed in Metro Manila and other markets in the country while chicken producers from public markets can sell directly to the end customer as well as provide cold storage facility.

For sugar, procedures to allow importation to direct users to moderate cost to consumers will now be simplified while for vegetables, in order to reduce prices for consumers, logistics such as transport, distribution, and storage will be improved.

Roque likewise said the release of essential food items in the port is a priority, which includes having a designated person, who is on-duty all the time to sign papers.

Medium-term measures, the Palace spokesperson said, were also proposed.

“Para sa agrikultura po, facilitate better access to farming technologies; promote research and development to 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 LGUs to aggressively impose the idle land tax,” he added.

For the  fishery sector,  Roque said the Palace will “review and possibly amend the Fisheries Code and other policies governing the sector. Sa legislation, introduce tariffication for sugar, fish, meat, and vegetables.”

The Palace likewise underscored that the current 6.4% inflation is only for the month of August; and citing the presentation of the Cabinet Economic Development Cluster, Secretary Roque underscored that inflation during the Duterte administration is lower compared to previous administrations.

“Now, so far po sa comparative inflation rate, ang pinakamataas pong inflation was experienced during the time of Cory Aquino, followed by Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,” Roque said.

According to the Palace official, rentals for housing, tobacco, rice, electricity, gas, fish and seafood and other fuels contributed to inflation.-NewsLine

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