President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has labeled as "unfortunate" the surging inflation rate of the country which rose to 8.7 percent in January.
Marcos, however, believes that amid the rise of the inflation rate from 8.1 percent in December last year, it will go down by the second quarter of 2023.
"It is unfortunate that we get the news today that inflation continues to increase up to 8.7 percent. I suppose that it can only be said that the measures that we have taken have not yet gone through the system," he said on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
The President, just like in the previous months, attributed the high inflation rate to "imported inflation" but assured that measures have been taken to produce greater supply of agricultural products in an attempt to bring down prices of commodities.
"As I said, the importation of many of the agricultural products, which have been a large part of the inflation rate... we have already taken some measures so that the supply will be greater and so that will bring the prices down but that will take a little time. And my continuing estimate or forecast is that by – we can see the lowering of inflation by the second quarter of this year," he explained.
"As of now with fuel prices going down and the prices of agri products with the importation slowly also going down. I think that we will see the effects on the inflation rate further down on the road. And I sincerely believe that this is going to be as high as it's going to get," he added.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the surging inflation rate is mainly driven by increases in housing rentals, electricity and water rates, as well as in the prices of vegetables, milk, eggs, fruits and nuts.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the Marcos administration has identified measures to keep food price movements consistent with the government’s inflation and food security objectives, with higher agricultural productivity, food supply augmentation, and energy security seen as priorities to temper upward price pressures.
Meanwhile, the President’s economic managers expect inflation to moderate for 2023 to 2024, with a slower-than-expected global recovery and waning pent-up domestic demand while the impact of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) rate hikes is anticipated to be felt this year.