BANNER: Economic team: Food supply, oil prices stable

DESPITE concerns over the impact the current Russia-Ukraine conflict may have on the Philippines in terms of higher prices, particularly in food and energy, the economic managers are confident that these will remain stable. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua is referring to Senate Bill (SB) 139, or the "Philippine Livestock Development Industry Act," and SB 2176, or the "Affordable Pork Act," both of which, according to the Development Budget Coordination Committee, will help alleviate potential domestic supply constraints and prevent second-round price effects. On his part, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno noted that while rising oil prices are anticipated to have a greater impact than higher food costs, the contribution of oil prices to inflation is substantially lower. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), for its part, said that despite geopolitical concerns outside the Philippines, basic necessity and prime commodity prices have remained stable. Nomura, a Tokyo-based global investment firm, warned last week that a sharp spike in oil and food prices induced by the Ukraine conflict could strike Asian economies hard, with the Philippines among the "biggest losers." Diokno said, however, that "all analysis on the impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict on individual jurisdictions, at this time, are speculative" and that "there are just too much uncertainties." The consequences of the conflict on Russia, Ukraine, and some European countries, or those who rely on Moscow gas, the central bank chief highlighted, might be significant. However, the impact of the conflict on the Philippine economy is seen to be minimal, if at all, in comparison to those who are directly affected by the crisis, he said.

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