Suspension of rice imports won't impact inflation, says Diokno

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2019 07:00 PM

MANILA – President Duterte's suspension of rice importation is unlikely to affect inflation since there is enough supply during the harvest season and pending imports are expected to arrive, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said on Wednesday.

“Hindi naman makakaapekto kasi marami nang imports na darating pa lang eh, tapos concern nga is harvest season, baka lalong bumaba yung presyo,” Diokno told reporters.

(It won’t have an effect since we have a lot of imports that will be arriving. The concern is it’s harvest season, so prices might even go lower)

Inflation stayed below the government's 2 to 4 percent target range for 3 straight months after inflationary pressures in 2018, including the shortage in rice supply, were addressed. 

The Philippines is also likely to enjoy “a nice Christmas” in terms of consumer prices with lower global oil forecasts, Diokno told reporters. 

“And on prices naman, sinusewerte pa rin tayo, mababa pa rin ang long term forecast of oil prices, sinuswerte tayo all the way. So we’ll have a nice Christmas,” he added.

(On prices, we’re lucky since the long term forecast of oil prices remain low. We’re lucky, so we’ll have a nice Christmas)

Diokno said “there’s no way” the government will turn its back on the rice tariffication since it has already been enacted into law. 

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night ordered Agriculture Sec. William Dar to suspend rice importation. 

-- with a report from Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News