Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia calls for prioritization of programs to increase production of rice. Rice deflation, by far, has been registered for the fifth time last September. Read more: chief calls for programs’ prioritization to help farmers, an article by the Philippine News Agency.
“While consumers enjoy lower price prices, we must at the same time protect the Filipino farmers from falling palay prices. The government must fast-track and prioritize programs and projects under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund to boost production and improve the profitability of the Filipino farmers,” states Ernesto Pernia, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary.
In lieu, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that rice price has a growth of -8.9 percent from the previous -5.2 percent. This resorted to an overall inflation deceleration to 0.9 percent, slowest since the 1.3 percent in June 2016.
To add, Philippine Statistics Authority Undersecretary Claire Dennis Mapa reported that the retail price of rice has plummeted by 18 percent year on year to date.
The slow domestic inflation rate is due to the impact of the Rice Tariffication Law, Republic Act No. 11203. According to Pernia, the new law continues to pull down overall inflation whilst improving rice stock inventory. He adds that rice stock inventory rose to 40.3 percent due to importation of rice. This results to Php 3 per kilo price.
Although good for Filipino consumers, the new law is challenging the local farming industry.
Pernia also stated that there is an ongoing investigation by the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Competition Commission on the anti-competitiveness practices.