Following the spike in inflation observed in the latter months of 2020, the Department of Finance (DoF) suggested a reset in strategies to mitigate weather-related inflationary pressures.
The imminent threat of natural calamities every year highlights the need for long-term solutions.
“The Department of Agriculture’s food programs may have to be re-strategized so that unaffected regions can provide alternative supplies of vegetables to typhoon-battered regions immediately after a typhoon,” the DoF said.
The country was lashed by a string of typhoons in 2019, affecting food prices, particularly agricultural commodities, which made a significant contribution to the overall inflation.
Clocking at a faster rate of 3.5 percent, the higher inflation in December was traced to the witnessed price uptrend in major food items such as vegetables with 19.73 percent and meat with 9.95 percent.
According to the agency, supply shocks prompted the commodity to cost more as the string of weather disturbances didn’t only affect production but the logistics as well.
Another major item in the food basket, meat likewise suffered from higher prices amid the adverse effects of African Swine Fever.
As such, the DoF urged a stronger program to eradicate the disease and pull meat prices back to its normal levels.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua shared the same sentiment as he earlier cited the need to improve supply chain efficiency to ensure price stability of essential goods and services.
“The imminent threat of natural calamities every year highlights the need for long-term solutions such as infrastructure investment that would improve flood control, water management and irrigations systems,” Chua explained.
The 3.5 percent December inflation cemented a year-to-date inflation of 2.6 percent, well within the government’s two to four percent target band.