In response to increasing rice prices in the country, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), together with the rest of the Economic Development Cluster, urges the Senate to immediately pass the Rice Tariffication Bill within the month of September.
“A shift from quantitative restrictions on rice in favor of tariffication will reduce its retail price by 4 to 7 pesos,“ said DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno.
In a press conference last Wednesday, the government announced that it will immediately release 4.6 million sacks of rice in NFA warehouses to markets all over the country while also allocating 2.7 million sacks to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. 2.0 million sacks of rice previously contracted to be delivered is also expected to arrive before the end of September.
In addition, the NFA Council authorized the importation of 5.0 million sacks of rice that will be arriving over the next six weeks. Another 5.0 million sacks will be imported early next year.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released recently that the headline inflation rate for August 2018 accelerated to 6.4 percent year-on-year. The largest contributors to the significant increase in inflation include food items (rice, fish, vegetables, other meat), and electricity, gas and fuels, and personal transport.