May 05, 2020

The headline inflation rate for April 2020 was estimated at 2.2 percent, which reflects relatively stable prices for Filipino families. Inflation rates over the past three months show a continuous downtrend trend, consistently staying within the government’s target range of 2.0 to 4.0 percent.

“The steady inflation outlook over the past several months clearly demonstrates the tangible benefits of the Rice Tariffication Law, strong economic growth over the past three years, and improvements in logistics through the Build, Build, Build program,” Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said.

“This steady outlook will support our efforts to restore economic growth, and will keep essential goods affordable for our people.” Chua added.

Chua also said that continued deflation in the operation of personal transport equipment and electricity, gas, and other fuels helped keep prices down.

The Socioeconomic Planning chief also underscored the need to continue government efforts to keep the supply and price of essential commodities stable, especially with the extension of enhanced community quarantine in high-risk areas in the country.

“We need to ensure supply chains are not disrupted. We also need to beef up our efforts to boost agricultural production in the near term to ensure a sufficient supply of key food items in the domestic market. This entails, among others, accelerating the implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to help rice farmers improve productivity in the next planting season,” Chua said.

He added that national government will actively engage the private sector and local government units to ensure the seamless flow of essential goods in quarantine areas.

“We encourage investments in post-harvest facilities, cold storage, and logistics support for perishable goods to reduce product wastage brought about by reported delays in transport of goods in ECQ checkpoints,” Chua said.

Chua also emphasized the need to closely monitor other significant factors that may affect the country’s near-term inflation rate. These include risks from the African Swine Fever, weather-related disturbance in agriculture when the rainy season starts, and higher import price during the COVID-19 pandemic as global supply chains become constrained.