A steep increase in consumer prices may be expected in the next several months as a result of super typhoon Yolanda’s destruction of farm lands and crops.
Among the most severely hit are the coconut growers of Leyte, which account for about one third of all the coconuts produced in the country.
More than 208,000 hectares are planted with over 22 million trees in Leyte, providing a living for 122,000 families, or around 600,000 people, said Joel Pilapil, a senior official of the Philippine Coconut Authority in the province.
A report said that the vast region of coconut farm land was laid to waste, eradicating in one fell swoop the livelihoods of tens of thousands of smallholders
The price hikes may push inflation rate to an average of 3.2 per cent from the year to-date average of 2.8 per cent as of October, before the typhoon struck.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) earlier assessed the damage to food supply as minimal since Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) struck at the end of the harvest season. It was explained the assessment was made before government was apprised of the full extent of the devastation.
The monetary body’s latest simulation studies reveal that that inflationary trends might persist up to 2014. Average inflation next year is now seen to reach 4.5 per cent from the previous forecast of 4 per cent.
The BSP updates its inflation forecasts every six weeks.