MANILA – The government’s food programs need some enhancement to address any weather-related supply constraints that results in price upticks, a Department of Finance (DOF) official said.
In an economic bulletin, DOF Undersecretary Gil Beltran cited further acceleration of domestic inflation rate in December 2020 to 3.5 percent from month-ago’s 3.3 percent, which was traced to the impact of typhoons on several agricultural products.
The rate of price increase of vegetables posted the highest jump at 19.73 percent last December from the previous month’s 14.62 percent.
Rice, which has been posting deflation in the past months, posted a 0.10-percent inflation rate last December.
Meat inflation accelerated to 9.95 percent last month from November’s 8.15 percent, which Beltran attributed to the impact of the African swine fever (ASF).
Among the regions, he said Cagayan Valley and Bicol registered the highest inflation rate at 6.6 percent due to the devastation brought by the strong typhoons last November and December.
Beltran thus highlighted the need to restrategize the Department of Agriculture’s food programs “so that unaffected regions can supply alternative supplies of vegetables to typhoon-battered regions immediately after a typhoon.”
“Likewise, a stronger program to stamp out ASF needs to be set up,” he added. (PNA)