MANILA -- (UPDATE) Inflation will be "moderated" in the coming months once government measures to tame price spikes take hold, the head of President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team said Friday.
The counter-inflation plan includes raising supplies of rice, fish and sugar, Dominguez said. Consumer prices rose 6.4 percent in August from the same month in 2017, the highest in nearly a decade.
"We believe that when the measures take effect, the inflation rate increase will be moderated," Dominguez said in a statement.
"A committed effort from government in the agriculture sector to boost supply of key products and introduce policy reforms will bring down prices for all Filipino families," he said.
Inflation is a "prominent challenge" to the Philippines and elevated price spikes will remain "for a couple of months," debt-watcher Moody's said Friday.
With inflation reducing purchasing power, coupled with faster than expected interest rate increases, the Philippines will likely "fall far short" of Moody's 6.8-percent economic growth forecast for the year, said the agency's vice president and senior credit officer Christian de Guzman told ANC.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said inflation was "not ridiculously high."
"Hinay hinay lang po tayo, normal pa po 'yan (Let's calm down, that's normal). It’s higher than usual but its nothing to be worried about," Roque said from Jordan, where he is part of the President's official party.
Pressed by reported, Roque said the looming arrest of Senator Antonio Trillanes, Duterte's most vocal critic, was not being used to divert public attention away from inflation.
"Hindi po totoo na kinakailangan ng diversion tactics, hinaharap po natin yan," he said.
(It's not true that we need diversionary tactics. We are confronting the issue.)