Philippines Plans to Drop Food Import Taxes to Ease Inflation
The Philippines plans to cut taxes on food imports to curb broad price pressures, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said Wednesday.
“To ease the potential inflation on food, we are going to drop tariffs on food items that we import,” Dominguez said during a panel with Haslinda Amin at Bloomberg Live’s Asean Business Summit. He didn’t provide specifics, and his office didn’t immediately respond to follow up questions.
While inflation remained within the central bank’s 2%-4% goal in January and February, the monetary authority flagged it may quicken in the coming months as the impact of the war in Ukraine ripples through commodities and financial markets.
The government last year lowered tariffs on pork and rice imports to curb a run up in consumer prices. Among other steps now, economic planners aim to increase subsidies for the transport sector and introduce wage support and other forms of aid for the poor, as well as introduce a four-day work week to cut down on commuting costs.
“Fortunately, the Philippines has a lot of tools” to ease inflation, the finance chief said.
Separately, Dominguez said a plan to sell at least $500 million in green bonds is under evaluation, and would be “ready as soon as market conditions improve.” It is also considering tapping the Samurai bond market, even as its focus is to raise funds mainly from domestic sources, he said.
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