NEDA says govt. to ensure food security, reduce transport cost vs. inflation

NEDA says govt. to ensure food security, reduce transport cost vs. inflation

Aug 5, 2022, 5:12 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz


After projecting so much positive targets, the government is now rushing to beat inflation, which in July reached its highest at 6.4 percent, owing to food and transport price hikes.

With inflation reaching its highest at 6.4 percent in July, the National Economic and Development Authority vowed that government will ensure food security and affordability, reduce transport and logistics costs to arrest a further rise in inflation and protect the Filipino consumers.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported today that the country’s inflation rate for July 2022 rose to 6.4 percent, the upper end of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ forecast range of 5.6 to 6.4 percent for the month.

“In our near-term socioeconomic agenda, we want to ensure that there’s sufficient and healthy food on the table of every Filipino. We are also helping reduce energy, transport, and logistics costs, especially for vulnerable sectors of our population. It is our urgent priority to ease price pressures and protect the public’s purchasing power through the implementation of programs that will help Filipinos cope with the effects of higher inflation rate,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan in a press release.

The Department of Budget Management has approved the P4.1-billion second tranche of the

Targeted Cash Transfer Program to help over 4 million Filipino families belonging to the poorest of the country's population, to cushion the effects of rising prices.

Inflation in July 2022 was driven by broad-based acceleration across commodity groups, especially on food and non-alcoholic beverages at 6.9 percent. This is due to faster inflation of meat, fish, rice, corn, and fruits.

“To boost local food production, the government will continue to support the agriculture sector through lower input costs, development of new farming technologies, extension of financial assistance to farmers, and strengthening the agricultural value chain. These can be achieved through the Plant, Plant, Plant Program 2, the government’s PhP24-billion flagship program on food security, which provides subsidy and support to the agriculture sector,” Balisacan said.

The inflation rate of transport, one of the main inflation drivers, increased to 18.1 percent in July 2022 . This was mainly due to the nationwide provisional increase in PUJ (Public Utility Jeepney) fares.

Thus, given that oil prices remain elevated, the government will fast-track the distribution of the second tranche of subsidies for PUJ drivers and operators.

Along with this, the government will also accelerate the fuel cash subsidies for tricycle drivers together with the ongoing Libreng Sakay Programs of the Department of Transportation and the Office of the Vice President, and the approved MRT-3, LRT-2, and PNR Libreng Sakay for Students.

Furthermore, more than 158,000 eligible farmers and fisherfolk are set to receive P3,000 each as fuel discounts to help cushion the impact of higher fuel prices. As of July 20, 2022, accounts created for beneficiaries reached 109,073 nationwide. Out of the total accounts, 65,837 were loaded with fuel discounts amounting to P207.4 million.

“We have started the preparations for the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 and are mindful of the 8-point socioeconomic agenda that includes increasing agricultural and industry productivity and building resilience against external shocks,” Balisacan added.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported today that rising expenses for food, transportation, and restaurants contributed to a 6.4 percent increase in consumer prices countrywide in July 2022.

PSA report on inflation

PSA stated this inflation rate is the highest since October 2018. The Philippines' average inflation rate from January to July 2022 was 4.7% after this month's inflation. The inflation rate was lower in July 2021, at 3.7 percent.

The data showed the index for food and non-alcoholic drinks increased from 6 to 6.9 percent in one month. From 17.1 percent in June 2022, the transport index grew by 18.1 percent yearly.

“Ang dahilan ng mataas na antas ng inflation nitong Hulyo 2022 ay ang mas mabilis na pagtaas ng presyo ng Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages.Ito ay may 6.9% inflation at 64% share sa pagtaas ng pangkalahatang inflation sa bansa,” PSA chief and National Statistician Dr. Claire Dennis Mapa said.

However, the National Capital Region's (NCR) inflation rate decreased from 5.6 percent in June 2022 to 5.1 percent in July 2022. In Metro Manila, the inflation rate in July 2021 was 2.9%.

The reduced annual growth in the housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels index, which dropped from 5.9 percent in June to 3.6 percent in July, was the main factor in NCR's slowing of inflation.

The data also showed inflation in Areas Outside NCR (AONCR) continued to move at a higher rate of 6.8 percent in July 2022, business mirror reported.

The inflation rate was 6.3 percent in the previous month and 3.9 percent in July of the previous year. (With report from Kaithe Santos)

Tags: #NEDA, #Balisacan, #beatinginflation, #Julyinflationat6.4%

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