PH mayors laud gov’t for lower rice prices, inflation downtrend | Inquirer Business

PH mayors laud gov’t for lower rice prices, inflation downtrend

/ 05:16 AM September 02, 2019

The umbrella organization of city mayors across the country has commended Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the Department of Finance and the rest of President Duterte’s economic team for pushing the enactment of the law liberalizing rice imports, which has led to lower prices of the staple food and a corresponding significant decline in the country’s inflation rate.

In a manifesto, the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) said since Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Law took effect in March, the average retail cost of rice had dropped by at least P7 per kilo or 20-percent less than last year’s peak rates.

The mayors cited, in particular, Dominguez’s efforts “for pushing the approval and enactment of RA 11203.”


“We in the League of Cities of the Philippines have seen the huge benefit of this law to our respective constituencies who now enjoy more affordable prices of rice,” the LCP said in the manifesto signed by the organization’s national chair, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella.


The LCP also pointed out that as a result of the law’s implementation, the country’s inflation rate had also fallen significantly in June, “from a high of 6.7 percent in September and October 2018.” The June 2019 headline inflation rate fell to 2.7 percent. It further decelerated to 2.4 percent in July.

“In this regard, the efforts of Secretary Dominguez, the Department of Finance, and the rest of the country’s economic team should not go unnoticed,” said the LCP, which has 145 city mayors as members.

Besides opening rice importation to private traders, the rice liberalization law also benefits palay growers as revenues from rice import tariffs are earmarked for the annual P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

Under RA 11203, RCEF would help finance the modernization of the agriculture sector and directly provide farmers with access to credit and training, and funds for mechanization, high-quality seeds, and fertilizers, among other forms of assistance to sharpen their global competitiveness and increase their incomes. —DAXIM L. LUCAS

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TAGS: Business, Inflation

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