The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will prioritize the safety and well-being of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as well as conserving energy in case the Israel-Hamas war escalates, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said on Tuesday.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, Edillon was asked about the impact of the Israel-Hamas war on the current inflation and the possibility of retaining the slow inflation rate.

“We have actually done several scenarios na ‘no with respect to this Israel-Hamas war. And actually, even World Bank has also done their calculations. Right now, the consensus is that it will be contained – that’s the general consensus,” Edillon said.

“But in the event that it escalates, again, very clear tayo sa priorities natin. Number one is to make sure that our OFWs there are safe, that we can bring them back safely. And then, number two, kaya pinag-uusapan na rin, kailangan natin ng mga energy conservation measures, beginning with those in government,” she said.

With respect to energy, Edillon said there are many energy power plants and transmission projects that are scheduled to be completed either this year or will be released next year. 

The President’s instruction is to make sure that those energy facilities will be completed or could be used on schedule, she said.

“So if that’s the case, then mami-maintain natin na limited iyong magiging impact sa atin. But like I said, priority pa rin talaga natin iyong safety ng mga OFWs natin.”

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that inflation in October significantly slowed down to 4.9 percent from 6.1 percent the previous month, which brings the year-to-date inflation to 6.4 percent.

Commodities with decelerated inflation include rice, vegetables, fish, bread and other cereal, sugar and meat.

Rice inflation, on the other hand, slowed down following the onset of peak harvest and also the import arrivals.
President Marcos Jr. directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to intensify support to provinces less affected by the El Niño phenomenon to increase food production as the administration vowed continued assistance to the most vulnerable sectors even after inflation eased in October. | PND