Gov’t economic team considers Arroyo’s inflation counter-measures

MANILA Several recommendations to address the rising inflation have been considered by the economic cluster of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday.

Roque said the inflation issue was not formally discussed during Monday's Cabinet meeting but the President has previously expressed alarm also over (the) rising inflation.

He said some of the recommendations to address the rising inflation were given by former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Among the measures proposed by Arroyo to Duterte's economic managers include cutting down tariff on fish imports to zero; for the National Food Authority to buy 500,000 metric tons of well-milled rice; and for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to increase an additional 25 basis point its key rates.

Roque said the suggestion of Agriculture Secretary Manny PiAol to issue suggested retail price (SRP) for fish products has also been discussed as possible measure to counter the rising inflation.

Roque, however, clarified with PiAol that imported fish products "cannot be delivered immediately" to the markets as provided in the law.

"It has to be delivered at an intermediate point, which has to be amended, before we can actually effect importation of fish products," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque said all aspects and further alleviation measures are being considered to address inflation.

Since increase in price of rice was another contributor to overall inflation, Roque said Duterte has renewed his stern warning against rice hoarders and cartels.

"And that's why the President has made it very clear, he will use the full power of the state to break open if need be the warehouses of rice hoarders," Roque said.

According to the Philippines Statistics Authority, the inflation hit a five-year high at 5.7 percent due to the rise in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency