Food prices to rise in summer: NEDA chief
Prices of food items will continue to increase, although slowly, with the onset of summer and the searing heat due to the El Nino, Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said.
Esguerra made the assessment after announcing that inflation in February was at 0.9 percent, compared to 1.3 percent in January due to the decline in global oil prices and slower increases in the prices of food items, non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear, among others.
Slower price hikes were observed in fish, other cereals, flour, cereal preparation, bread, pasta and other bakery products, milk, cheese and eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
Esguerra said it helped that there was enough supply.
“The implementation of programs related to mitigating the impact of El Niño such as cloud seeding operations, installation of alternative irrigation systems, crop rotation, the use of hybrid crop varieties, and other government assistance for farmers, helped ease price pressures on food,” he added.
Esguerra said the El Nino is expected to gradually weaken starting this month, but price hikes on food are expected during the onset of the summer season.
“Appropriate timing of rice importation remains critical to avoid supply disruptions which could result in unstable rice prices,” he also said.