Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. is confident the inflation rate is heading back to the 2-percent-to-4-percent target range, citing “decisive non-monetary measures to curb food prices as well as favorable recent developments in highly volatile international oil prices.” He referred to the earlier directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to the National Food Authority to release all its rice stocks nationwide starting in September as well as the move to import more rice. Food inflation, which includes that of rice, slowed to 7.7 percent in November from the previous month’s 9.2 percent, as the supply of key agricultural commodities, such as rice, fish and seafood, meat, vegetables, corn and fruits improved. Falling oil prices in the world market also helped a lot in pulling down the inflation rate. The December inflation data should further reflect the sharp drop in the pump prices of gasoline and diesel, as well as the decrease in transportation fares. Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, meanwhile, welcomed the drop in the inflation rate. She noted that authorities should have increased the rice supply immediately because the inflation problem was obviously being caused by the shortage of the commodity.