‘Rice tariffication won’t solve Philippines’ inflation problem’

Photo via The STAR/Michael Varcas

By Ian Nicolas Cigaral/philstar.com – Lifting the more than two-decade-old caps on rice imports would not solve the Philippines’ inflation problem, Deutsche Bank said, adding that the country’s “overheating” economy must lose steam to “stably” tame stubbornly high prices.

Households reeling from soaring prices since the beginning of the year finally got their much-awaited reprieve in November, which saw a four-month low inflation rate of 6 percent on the back of slower price increments for food and tumbling oil prices.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the country’s economic managers have repeatedly stressed the importance of replacing rice import limits with a system of tariffs to bring inflation back inside the government’s 2-4 percent target band.

In a report sent to reporters on Friday, Deutsche Bank, however, said liberalizing rice imports “will help, but will not solve the Philippines’ inflation problem.”

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