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Philippines ends 2023 with 14-year high rice inflation in December

By TED CORDERO, GMA Integrated News

While the Philippines’ overall inflation slowed down in December, the rate of increase in the cost of rice accelerated to its fastest in 14 years during the last month of 2023.

At a press briefing, Philippine Statistics Authority chief and National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said that rice inflation quickened to 19.6% during the month from 15.8% in November 2023.

This is the fastest inflation print for the food staple since March 2009, when rice inflation clocked in at 22.9%.

PSA data showed the average national price of regular milled rice in December last year was at P48.50 per kilo from P46.73 in November 2023 and much higher than P39.63 per kilo in December 2022.

For well-milled rice, the price per kilo in December 2023 stood at P53.82, higher than the P51.99 per kilo in November last year. Year-on-year, the rice class saw a nearly P10 increase as its price was P43.98 per kilo in December 2022.

In a separate statement, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said, “Amid an uptrend in international rice prices and the expected negative impact of the El Niño phenomenon, the Interagency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook will closely monitor the situation and propose further temporary tariff adjustments if necessary.”

“We will also push for trade facilitation measures to reduce other non-tariff barriers. While our medium-term objective to boost agricultural productivity remains, it is important to augment domestic supply to ease inflationary pressures on consumers, particularly those in low-income households,” Balisacan added.

The NEDA chief stressed the importance of Executive Order No. 50, which extended the Most Favored Nation (MFN) reduced tariff rates for key agricultural commodities like pork, corn, and rice to ensure sufficient food supply for Filipinos and prevent spikes in prices of these commodities. — DVM, GMA Integrated News

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/economy/893220/philippines-ends-2023-with-14-year-high-rice-inflation-in-december/story/ QR Code

Published Date: January 5, 2024

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