PBBM creates inter-agency body on inflation

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has created the Inter-Agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IAC-IMO) mandated to  ramp up government’s efforts to ease inflation and help strengthen the country’s economy.

He recently issued Executive Order (EO) 28, which created the IAC-IMO which will be co-chaired by the secretaries of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Finance (DOF) with the Budget secretary as vice chairperson. To complete IAC-IMO board are the Secretaries of Agriculture, Energy, Trade, Science and Technology, and Interior and Local Government departments.

EO 28 provides that the IAC-IMO will act as an advisory body to the Economic Development Cluster (EDC), which will now be known as Economic Development Group (EDG).

The IAC-IMO is tasked to monitor the main drivers of rising prices of basic goods, particularly of food and energy, and their proximate sources and causes.

The EO also directs the inter-agency body to assess the supply-demand situation for essential food commodities during the cropping period to allow periodic updating as new information becomes available. assess the possible impact of natural and man-made shocks on the supply of key food commodities, and monitor the necessary data to assess food prices and the supply and demand situation.

EO 28 also mandates the IAC-IMO to facilitate regular and efficient data sharing among concerned agencies to ensure timely supply and demand situation analysis; monitor global, regional, and domestic developments and issues that may affect prices.

It likewise directs the IAC-IMO to provide timely recommendations to the EDG and relevant agencies on measures to curb price spikes and promote food security based on ex-ante supply and demand analysis. The IAC-IMO is required to submit a quarterly report to the EDG on the country’s food and energy supply and demand situation and outlook, or as often as demanded by circumstances may. The report should include recommendations on short, medium, and long-term measures to manage inflation.

EO 28 also tasks the IAC-IMO to formulate and maintain a dashboard containing relevant information on prices, as well as the supply and demand for food and energy commodities. It reorganizes and renames the EDC as EDG to ensure that the “integration of programs, activities, and priorities toward sustained economic growth remains “efficient and effective.”

Members of EDG include the head of Presidential Management Staff and the secretaries of Agriculture, Budget, Energy, Information and Communications Technology, Interior and Local Government, Labor, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Trade, Transportation, and Tourism departments.

“In view of the increasing prices of key commodities, particularly food and energy resources, the creation of an advisory body to the EDC, tasked to directly address inflation, will strengthen the EDC, and reinforce existing government initiatives aimed to improve the economy and the quality of life of the Filipino people,” EO 28 read.

The EDG will also be responsible for harmonizing, coordinating, complementing, and synergizing efforts to ensure the country’s rapid, inclusive, and sustained growth, according to the EO.

EO 28 mandates the EDG to promote an environment conducive to the growth and competitiveness of private enterprises and the creation of jobs that will empower people and provide them with opportunities to rise above poverty.

The EDG should also improve farms and rural enterprises, as well as trade policies vital to achieving food security and more equitable economic growth.

It is likewise tasked to mitigate inflation and ensure food and energy security, while balancing the interests of producers, consumers, and the economy; undertake research and development that are relevant to and supportive of the requirements of micro, small, and medium scale enterprises and for national industries.

The EDG is also tasked to improve national productivity and competitiveness of domestic products and services, as well as ensure deep and wide distribution of economic opportunities and benefits to the Filipino people. To avoid duplication of efforts, EO 28 instructs the EDG to defer to the NEDA Board on matters within its primary purview and its inter-agency committees, pursuant to EO 230 inked in 1987. (With PNA)