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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Govt To Use Satellite Tech Versus Inflation

Satellite-based technology will be used to complement traditional analytical tools in the fight against inflation, the Finance department said.

Photo Insert: The Philippine Rice Information System (PRiSM) identifies the scale and magnitude of rice production gaps using Earth observation technologies, crop growth simulations, and information technology.

"Based on our initial scoping and conversations with different agencies, there are various frameworks and tools that use satellite imagery to analyze demand and supply of key commodities," Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.

The government's Inter-agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IAC-IMO), which Diokno heads along with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, met recently to discuss data-gathering tools.

The Finance department said that advanced technologies, along with traditional modes, would allow the committee to submit a complete and detailed assessment of the country's inflation outlook.

The creation of the IAC-IMO was approved in March as a proactive measure to fight inflation. It serves to advise the Economic Development Group (EDG) on measures that will keep inflation within target.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Among the tools discussed was the Philippine Rice Information System (PRiSM), which identifies the scale and magnitude of rice production gaps using Earth observation technologies, crop growth simulations, and information technology.

The system — housed within the Philippine Rice Research Institute — provides timely information on rice areas; start of season maps or planting dates; yield estimates, mid-season forecasts, and end-of-season yields; and the extent of area affected by flood or drought.

Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

Also discussed was Project Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry (Sarai) — a program that provides agricultural stakeholders with site-specific advisories in order to mitigate climate risks.

Project Sarai provides in-season crop forecasts and yield estimates; assessment of droughts and availability of rainfall; and crop advisories on how to maximize crop growth while addressing potential pest or disease problems.

Entrepreneurship: Business woman smiling, working and reading from mobile phone In front of laptop in the financial district.

Lastly, the Data Analytics Technologies and Operation Services for Space Data project developed by the Department of Science and Technology's Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) uses remote sensing, space technology, and data science applications to support critical activities on disaster mitigation, analysis, and advice.

The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) also uses satellites for disaster risk management, defense and security, and planning and econometrics, the Finance department said.

Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

"We want to introduce science into decision-making, and that's what we're going to do," Diokno said.

The IAC-IMO was said to be in close coordination with the Philippine Statistics Authority, PhilSA, ASTI, and various government agencies in order to apply advanced science and technology to their assessments

Science & technology: Scientist using a microscope in laboratory in the financial district.

"We need to increase production domestically and we need to increase productivity in agriculture because if we compare our agricultural output with other countries, we are way behind," Diokno said.

The IAC-IMO will continue to hold technical level meetings throughout April to assess the drivers of food and non-food inflation and recommend policies to mitigate the impact of inflationary pressures.

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