EO to remove food importation barriers awaits Duterte’s signature
An Executive Order (EO) that will make it easier for imported food items to enter the Philippines now awaits the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Drafted by the country’s Economic Development Cluster (EDC) as one of the measures to temper inflation, the EO will remove administrative and non-tariff barriers on the importation of food items.
The EO will particularly zero in on fish, rice, sugar, meat and vegetables—considering that the rise in prices of these items has been the major contributor to inflation for the past two months.
Fish and seafood, rice and meat, and vegetables accounted for 2.4 percentage points out of the 6.4 percent inflation rate in August.
“The issuance of the Executive Order as well as quick implementation of immediate and short-term measures will address the supply issues that have been driving up inflation,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.
The proposed EO will jump off from the measures and reforms identified by the EDC to tame food inflation.
Immediate to short-term measures include making rice available in the market through immediate release of stocks from NFA warehouses, importation, and distribution of projected harvest; monitoring of rice transfer from ports to warehouses and retail outlets; and the speedy passage of the Rice Tariffication Bill.