Filipinos should steel themselves for higher food prices in the coming months resulting from the spate of weather disturbances that have beset the country and more of these can be expected as the La Nina phenomenon sets in and prolongs the rainy season until the first semester of 2021, according to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
NEDA chief Karl Chua, didn’t give too much weight to assurances by the Department of Agriculture of adequate rice and vegetable stocks until the end of the year considering the billions of pesos in damage inflicted by typhoons Quinta and Rolly in several Southern Luzon, Mimaropa and Bicol provinces.
And, as everybody knows by now, shortages spawn price hikes.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has predicted a “moderate to strong” La Nina season until late April 2021.
La Nina is known to enhance the monsoon rains that cause floods and landslides, so the longer it persists the greater the risk of such calamities.
And it was estimated by forecasters that up to seven typhoons may enter the country from November 2020 to April 2021.
To mitigate food shortages, the NEDA has suggested to prolong the shelf life of agricultural products. But to do this would entail investments in cold storage facilities and other equipment.
Sadly, though, this would translate into increased food prices.