Unchanged inflation rate means gov’t measures working: Palace

MANILA — As inflation in October this year remained unchanged from September’s 6.7-percent level, Malacañang said Tuesday this development means measures being undertaken by the government are working and will continue to be carried out.

“Apparently, the measures undertaken by the government affected inflation rate, so we maintain that,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

“Well, the fact that it did not go up should be good news,” he added.

Panelo said directives of President Rodrigo Duterte, including supplying the country with food, and other measures undertaken by the departments of finance, trade, and agriculture contribute to the steady inflation rate.

“You must remember that we flooded the market with food supply. The Department of Finance (DOF) said they will be reducing the expenditures of the government, among others,” he added. “Of course, the government hopes that it will not go up and hopefully, it should go down.”

Asked if the government expects inflation to slow down in the coming months, Panelo pointed out that it will still depend on conditions surrounding the global market.

”Hopefully, it depends on the global conditions,” he said.

Malacañang has repeatedly assured that measures are in place to ease inflation caused by supply disruptions following the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong.

Earlier, Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 13 to streamline procedures on the import of agricultural products, including rice.

Duterte also signed Memorandum Order Nos. 26, 27, and 28 to stabilize the prices of basic agricultural commodities at reasonable levels and maintain enough supply.

These MOs also provide protection for consumers against hoarding, profiteering, and cartels.

At present, Duterte is reviewing the recommendation of the government’s economic managers to suspend another PHP2-per-liter excise tax starting January next year after DOF estimated that crude prices will stay above the USD80 threshold in the coming months.

Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, excise taxes on fuel may be suspended if international crude prices exceed USD80 per barrel for three months in a row. PNA-northboundasia.com