MANILA (UPDATE) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has created an inter-agency committee that would focus on monitoring inflation and market outlook to avoid the late importation of commodities, a Cabinet member said on Tuesday.
The Inter-agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook will be co-chaired by the Socioeconomic Planning and Finance chief, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a Palace briefing.
Officials of the Agriculture, Trade, Energy, Science, and Interior and Local Government departments will also be part of the committee.
“The Philippine Statistics Authority, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and Philippine Competition Commission will serve as the Committee’s resource institutions,” the National Economic and Development Authority said in a statement.
The Committee was created to address wrong importation calls, the DOF chief said.
“Minsan mali yung timing kasi magdedesisyon ka mag-import tapos darating dito sa atin eh tamang-tama nag-aani na ang farmers so umaangal talaga sila,” he said.
“So dapat talaga there should be a scientific, science-based forecast,” he said, noting that members of the Committee would include the Departments of Budget, Agriculture, Trade, Energy, and Science and Technology.
“This will be a permanent committee at ang trabaho nito ay to come up with the supply and demand situation,” Diokno said.
“We will report to the President on a monthly basis kung ano ang sitwasyon, kung kailangan mag-angkat… So hindi na ad hoc ang desisyon kung kailangan mag-import,” he said.
The move comes months after the Philippines saw spikes in the prices of sugar and red onions, which contributed to the country’s inflation last year.
In February 2023, inflation eased to 8.6 percent from 8.7 percent in January.
Diokno said the Central Bank forecasts inflation to temper to the 2-4 percent level in October, and to an average of 3.1 percent in 2024.