Supply of fish, fruits, veggies still a concern
As supply pressures continue to hound some food commodities, the Department of Finance (DOF) is seeking measures to ensure enough fish, fruits and vegetables in the market.
In an economic bulletin, Finance Undersecretary and chief economist Gil Beltran noted that food prices in January rose by 0.3 percent from December levels due to higher prices of fish (+3.1 percent month-on-month), fruits (+0.4 percent) and vegetables (+0.3 percent).
“Supply dips continue to bug these sectors,” he said.
“Productivity programs need to be implemented to reverse the price increases of fish, fruits and vegetables,” he said.
The DOF official nonetheless noted that prices of corn, meat, rice and sugar in January declined from December levels.
The headline inflation rate last month slowed to a 10-month low of 4.4 percent, although still above the government’s 2-4 percent target range.
“Inflation is mainly supply-side driven. The inflation decline was due to the streamlining of the supply chain, including that for imported goods, upon the President’s signing of several administrative orders and memorandum circulars on Sept. 21,” Beltran explained.
To further bring down prices, Beltran urged the Bureau of Customs to issue the implementing guidelines to activate TradeNet.ph, which would allow further streamlining of importation. —BEN O. DE VERA
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