Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said he expects inflation to stabilize below 5 percent staring January 2019, after the government introduced more programs to tame consumer prices.
“Inflation figure is 6 percent. But expect figures below 5 percent in January ,” he said Thursday during the opening of the Logistics Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said inflation rate decelerated to 6 percent in November from 6.7 percent in October.
Lopez said the improving economy would tame inflation rate further in 2019 given the improvements in business processes in key sectors such as logistics.
He said logistics represents 27 percent of business cost in the Philippines and is considered the “lifeblood of the economy.”
Lopez said the Transportation Department had a crucial role in the development of a reliable and efficient transport system while the Trade Department aimed to develop globally competitive industries.
“The mandates of these two departments complement each other in terms of fostering growth of the logistics services sector. As I keep reiterating, a network of reliable transport system and infrastructure facilitates the flow of goods and services through an efficient logistics services. Moreover, a seamless, unobstructed flow of goods indicates the health of our national economy,” he said.
He said to ensure the competitiveness of the logistics services sector, the Trade Department’s Competitiveness Bureau initiated a program called Transforming the logistics services through regulatory reform, assurance of quality, communication and capacity-building and lnowledge management or Track.
Lopez said the program addressed high international shipping costs based on the complaints of traders regarding excessive fees imposed by foreign carriers.
“We have requested the Philippine Competition Commission to look into the excessive and unreasonable charges imposed by foreign shipping lines to importers and exporters. This is amid the growing concerns of the business community about these surcharges, which continue to undermine the competitiveness of local industries,” Lopez said.