Rice price hike influenced by reports of low NFA stocks, officials say

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2018 05:21 PM | Updated as of Apr 27 2018 07:40 PM

MANILA – Government officials on Friday agreed that the rice price hike, reportedly felt by most Filipinos according to a Pulse Asia survey, was influenced by reports of low National Food Authority (NFA) rice stocks.

The recent Pulse Asia “Ulat ng Bayan” survey revealed that 86 percent of Filipinos are “strongly affected” by the rise in prices of basic goods.

"Rise in food prices, [including rice], was caused by [an] artificial shortage due to NFA low stocks resulting in alarmist statements," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told ABS-CBN News.

World oil prices and the newly implemented tax reform law also influenced the price hikes, Pernia said.

“Inflation typically rises with sharp increases in economic growth and household income,” he said.

He allayed fears of consumers saying the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is good at inflation management.

Meanwhile, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said price hikes of basic commodities are a reflection of significant increases in global petroleum prices raising prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG.

“These supply side pressures are pushing prices and inflation of these key commodities including rice, which was affected by reports of lower NFA stocks even as fruits and vegetables prices declined for the month of April,” Guinigundo told ABS-CBN News.

Electricity rates have also gone up due to higher generation and transmission charges, he said.