“I spoke to a foreign chef, he’s dumbfounded by the rising cost of onions and flour,” colleague Ma’an Pamaran wrote on her FB newsfeed.

Apparently, vexed Ma’an shared that the price of red onions per kilo more than doubled from P120 to P250, an inflation acceleration of 117.91 percent. And as of this writing there’s a dearth of white onions, most preferred by consumers because it’s laden with higher levels of antioxidants – quercetin and anthocyanin – in the wet market.

If there’s available supply, the price per kilo has gone to the roof, about P500. I wouldn’t be surprised I would be missing my favorite onion rings, typically made with yellow, white or sweet onions.

Yes, it looks like the sense of frustration has swept across all economic status due to the seemingly never-ending increase in the price of basic commodities.

Making it a bit worse is the decision of the members of the Oil Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce their output due to the “uncertainty that surrounds the global economy and oil market outlooks” starting November.

It’s a red flag. As an oil-import dependent country, this will trickle down to our shores with domestic pump prices of petroleum products that have been swinging like pendulum, taking the upswing.

The horizon looks cloudy. There’s no relief in sight, particularly as the holiday season draws near. This, despite the assurances and support of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to boost the supply of key food commodities as well as address supply-side pressures that are pulling up inflation.

All things considered, including the recent fare increase that has a domino effect on other services, inflation could breach 7.0 percent this month and may sustain its uphill climb should the BSP continue to tighten its hold on interest rates to hold back the peso from further depreciation.

Even the monetary authorities view that inflation rate will continue to stay on a higher platform primarily caused by “elevated prices of global non-oil commodities such as food and agricultural products and metals, continued shortage in domestic pork supply, higher fish prices and possible jeepney fare hikes due to higher oil prices (upside risks).”

The economic situation, amidst the widening current account deficit plus increase in importation that very well demonstrates the domestic economy is growing as well as our condition, is unsettling.

It makes us nervous with the looming increase in interest rates and the local currency in jitters. And, it is counter intuitive for the chief economic manager to say the government is “willing to spend some more just to defend it,” and has no qualms in “drawing down reserves.”

I still believe in the independence of the BSP. As Governor Felipe Medalla vowed: “The central bank's monetary policy actions are also working in tandem with fiscal policy and programs to prevent inflation expectations from becoming more entrenched.”

And as the wheels of the domestic economy continue to churn to the positive territory despite the negativity, we, consumers, may have to adjust our belt tightly to ride the tide. Yes, belt-tightening is now the buzzfeed.

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