Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » NEDA to assess effect of Manila truck ban, supply and productivity policies on inflation rate

ID-10035069The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will review the Manila truck ban and the policies on supply sufficiency and agriculture productivity to ensure that inflation growth remains manageable.

“The truck ban policy also needs to be reviewed, along with other measures [that are] needed to improve the efficiency of distribution systems,” NEDA director general Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement.

The inflation rate for June this year slowed to 4.4% from 4.5% in May, but is still manageable and within the target outlook for the year, according to NEDA.

“NEDA expects that the country’s headline inflation rate for full-year 2014 will average around 4.4%, still within the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s full-year target of 3% to 5%,” Balisacan said.

“One of the main reasons for the high price of food is the rather sharp increases in rice prices in June 2014 as supply tightness persisted in the market,” the Cabinet official noted.

But despite the outlook of a manageable and within-target inflation growth for 2014, NEDA said there are risks along the way, such as weather disturbances, pests and diseases, pending petitions for adjustments in utility rates, and the still elevated growth of domestic liquidity.

Also, given the increasing probability of El Niño occurring beginning the third quarter of 2014, Balisacan reiterates the need to intensify government programs to curb the adverse impact of a prolonged dry spell.

“In the medium term, implementation of programs to increase the productivity of agriculture and the food processing industries needs to be accelerated. The wider use of appropriate technology, especially in production areas vulnerable to drought and floods, also needs to be encouraged,” he said.

In line with this, Balisacan said that public-private partnership (PPP) programs to put up cold chain systems may be considered.

“The concept of using cold chain technologies in the agriculture sector should be done on a gradual basis, from some selected operations and for the whole distribution chain,” he said.

Anthony Dizon, president of the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines, Inc., told PortCalls in a text message that he had been hearing of NEDA commissioning studies for PPP cold chain projects since two years ago.

“None of them progressed beyond the study stage,” Dizon said, adding if they did CCAP “never learned about them.”

He said though that “it would be good to have PPP projects, but I’m not sure people in government really know what they want to do.”

Meanwhile, another economist slammed the truck ban policy for its adverse effect on the economy.

“Revoke the ban because it’s just creating traffic in other places and goods aren’t getting delivered,” University of Asia & the Pacific economist Victor Abola said in a midyear economic briefing.

Given the consequences of the policy, Abola said Malacañang should step in and force the Manila City government to lift the truck ban.

“It’s just throwing everything into chaos,” Abola pointed out.

Last March, Citigroup Philippines economist Jun Trinidad in a macroresearch said the policy could cost the country up to P320 billion in losses and cut GDP by up to 5%. – Roumina Pablo

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One Response to “NEDA to assess effect of Manila truck ban, supply and productivity policies on inflation rate”

  1. The truck ban policy should be slammed. It is useless and it does not solve the traffic chaos in Manila. This ordinance was not thought of and i think was just an outburst reaction from Estrada. Anyway what can you expect from him. I wonder why he won the seat despite his unsuccessful stint as president ( i worked under his administration ) and him being convicted for stealing peoples money. I suggest voters should have qualifications to vote. Going back to the issue, i noticed that despite the ban, there is still chaos on the street, traffic is really horrible, you do not want to go anywhere anymore unless it is necessary. It very counter productive. There are other much more important issues to look into like traffic discipline, regulation and enforcement. Discipline- i noticed that motorists do not follow traffic lights and signs, no road courtesy. The traffic enforcers are out there to keep an eye on traffic violators ( to extort money ) instead of easing traffic congestion. I saw a bunch of them congregating in one area along C 5 last Friday unmindful of the traffic back up. Those motorcyclist who are now the lords of the street, coming from all directions , sideswiping cars or cutting off . These type of road users should undergo training before they can be given license. Those pedicabs and tricycles that shares the mAin roads are hazards and cause a great deal of traffic. They should not be allowed to use the main and secondary roads at all. Infrastructures also add to congestion, a lot of condos and shopping malls have sprawled with limited parking. Those road constructions everywhere that are slow. I wonder why they tear the roads when they do not have the budget, or maybe they have the budgets but the releases are slow because of red tapes and CORRUPTION.There a many issues to look into to address the horrendous traffic situation in manila and other places not just the truck ban which is counter productive and a sabotage to the economy. Neda should do its job of assessing the impact of this ” mediocre solution”.

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