Noting the increase in food prices, Department of Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Gil Beltran said that dipping supply of fish, fruits, and vegetables is continuously bugging these sectors.
DOF noted in an economic bulletin that prices of food increase by 0.3 percent in January. The price hike is attributable to the high prices of fish (+3.1 percent, month-on-month), fruits, (+0.4 percent), and vegetables (+0.3 percent).
Beltran said that to reverse the increase in the prices of fish, fruits, and vegetables, there is a need for the implementation of productivity programs.
On the other hand, there was a noted decrease in the prices of corn, meat, rice, and sugar this January from its prices in December 2018.
To further lower the prices of food and other commodities, Beltran calls on the Bureau of Customs to issue the activate TradeNet. A government online platform for trading permits, the DOF official believes that doing so will streamline the flow of goods and will allow continues improvements in the supply chain.
He also said that the activation of the online platform for trading permit application will help ease inflation.
Last month, the country’s inflation rate slowed to a 10-month-record-low of 4.4 percent. However, the said rate is still above government’s target range of 2-4 percent range.
TradeNet.ph will enable traders to apply for permits online. Regulatory agencies, for their part, will be able to receive these applications and send feedback, in real time. Aside from minimizing the cost of doing business in the country, the platform will also cut the processing time usually spent for the issuance of import and export permits.
The government aims to interconnect all 76 regulation government agencies across 18 government departments through TradeNet.ph.
Streamlining the supply chain
Aside from the establishment of TradeNet.ph, the government has also instituted reforms to streamline the supply chain. Among the government’s initiatives are the removal of administrative restrictions on the importation of agricultural products and enabling an easier delivery of farm goods to the market.