Duterte Approves Food, Oil Security Measures to Cushion Foreseen Impacts of Ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Pres. Duterte in Nueva Ecija in 2017, checking the rice quality | IMG Source: Presidential Photo/Asia Times

MANILA, Philippines – As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to make its impacts felt globally, President Duterte approved agricultural and oil security measures to buffer the aftermaths of the crisis on PH economy.

A command conference regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict was attended by the President on March 1, wherein potential scenarios PH economy may face were discussed and the contingency measures were presented, should the invasion continue to escalate.

Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said, “In this regard, the President has approved the recommendations of his Economic Team to strengthen our domestic economy, stabilize food prices, provide social protection, and explore diplomatic channels to help resolve the conflict.”

Among the measures approved by the President are:

  • Ramping up food production through Plant, Plant, Plant Part Two
  • Increasing rice buffer stock good for at least 30 days
  • Distribution of financial assistance to palay (unhusked rice) farmers
  • Addressing the increasing price of fertilizer such as the provision of fertilizer subsidy and market access through bilateral discussions with fertilizer-producing countries
  • Improving production and intensifying research for more economic prices of feeds
  • Supporting food mobilization from high-producing regions to cities through the Kadiwa mobile vans and trucks, and offering transportation cost subsidy for basic commodities.
  • Giving approval to the Department of Energy to implement the P2.5-billion Pantawid Pasada or fuel subsidy, and P500-million fuel discount program for farmers and fisherfolk

Also regarding oil security, Malacañang called on Congress to review the oil deregulation law, “particularly provisions on unbundling the price, and the inclusion of the minimum inventory requirements in the law, as well as giving the government intervention powers/authority to intervene when there is a spike and/or prolonged increase of prices of oil products.”

With economic inflation lurking, Nograles said the national government is prepared to implement the Price Control Law.

Other issues tackled during the conference were the Philippines’ security and defense plans, and the effects of ongoing fighting on trade and labor.

The Philippines is one of the 141 countries among the 193 members of the United Nations, who voted to denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during the recent United Nations General Assembly.

On the Palace’s sentiments about the crisis, Nograles said, “In conclusion, we appeal for an immediate end to the unnecessary loss of life, and call on the states involved to forge an accord that can help prevent a conflagration that could engulf a world still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The course of history and the fate of our world will be shaped by the decisions that will be made by its leaders. We are one in prayer, together with all peace-loving citizens, that they be guided by wisdom and a genuine desire to save lives, establish harmony among neighboring nations, and forge a just and lasting peace for humanity,” the spokesperson added.

Sources: Inquirer, Rappler

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