PBBM forms inter-agency body on inflation, market outlook

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has ordered the creation of the Inter-Agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IAC-IMO) tasked to directly address inflation and enhance initiatives to improve the economy and the quality of life of Filipinos.

Executive Order (EO) No. 28, signed by the President on Friday, states that IAC-EMO shall serve as an advisory body to the Economic Development Group (EDG) on measures that would keep inflation, particularly of food and energy, within the government’s inflation targets.

“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,” the EO read.

The EO also reorganizes and renames the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) as the Economic Development Group (EDG) as, “there is a need to reorganize the EDC to ensure that the integration of programs, activities, and priorities toward sustained economic growth remains efficient and effective.”

The IAC-EMO will be composed of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary as Chair; Finance Secretary as Co-Chair ; Budget Secretary as Vice-Chair; and the secretaries of Agriculture, Energy, Science and Technology, Trade, and Interior as members.

Among the functions of the advisory body are to closely monitor the main drivers of inflation, particularly food and energy, and their proximate sources and causes; assess the supply-demand situation for essential food commodities during the cropping period, allowing 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 regularly monitor data necessary to assess food prices and the supply and demand situation.

IAC-EMO is also tasked to facilitate regular and efficient data sharing among concerned agencies to effect timely supply and demand situation analysis; monitor global, regional, and domestic developments and issues that may affect prices: and 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 President also ordered the IAC-IMO to submit a report to the EDG of the country’s food and energy supply and demand situation and outlook every quarter, or as the circumstances may require.

The report shall include recommendations on short, medium, and long-term measures to manage inflation.

The IAC-IMO shall also formulate and maintain a dashboard containing relevant information on prices, as well as the supply and demand for food and energy commodities.

Meanwhile, the EO states that the EDG shall be responsible for harmonizing, coordinating, complementing, and synergizing efforts to ensure the country’s rapid, inclusive, and sustained growth.

Among the functions of the EDG are 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; improve farms and rural enterprises, as well as trade policies vital to achieving food security and more equitable economic growth; mitigate inflation and ensure food and energy security, while balancing the interests of producers, consumers, and the economy.

The EDG is also mandated to undertake research and development that are relevant to and supportive of the requirements of micro, small, and medium scale enterprises and for national industries; improve national productivity and competitiveness of domestic products and services; and ensure deep and wide distribution of economic opportunities and benefits to the Filipino people.

The group is composed of the Finance Secretary as Chair; NEDA as Co-Chair; and the Head of Presidential Management Staff; secretaries of Agriculture, Budget, Energy, Information and Communications Technology, Interior, Labor, Public Workers, Science and Technology, Trade, Transportation, and Tourism as members.

To avoid duplication of efforts and forum shopping, the EO stated the EDG shall defer to the NEDA Board on matters within its primary purview and its inter-agency committees, pursuant to EO No. 230 (s. 1987). (PND)