Inflation dips to 5.1%

January 04, 2019
Salvador Panelo
Salvador Panelo

MALACAÑANG welcomed as “positive news” the 5.1 percent inflation in December 2018 and assured Filipinos it would “not fall into complacency” and would sustain the country’s economic growth.

December’s inflation rate is the lowest since June 2018’s 5.2 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

It was the first time since August 2018 that inflation rate fell below the 6-percent level.

In September and October last year, the inflation rate was at a nine-year high at 6.7 percent.

“This is positive news given that the aforementioned figure is the lowest since June 2018, which had a rate of 5.2 percent,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Friday.

“The Palace attributes this primarily to the President’s comprehension of the dynamics of Philippine economy and his corresponding actions of providing remedies to draw to a close the unease of the ordinary consumer,” Panelo added.

He cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s Administrative Order No. 13, “which streamlined procedures on the importation of agricultural products such as rice” and his Memorandum Order Nos. 26, 27, and 28, “which helped stabilize the prices of agriculture and fishery products at reasonable levels and maintained their sufficient supply in our markets.”

The Palace official said the Duterte government would continue to work hard in removing the Filipinos’ “distress to inflation.”

“Despite this development, the President and this administration will not fall into complacency in balancing the country’s overall economic progress and alleviation of our people’s distress to inflation,” he said.

“Filipinos can expect that we will remain vigilant as we continue to monitor the prices of basic goods and commodities, and implement measures to further ease the burden of our countrymen,” he added.

Various groups have blamed the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law for the country’s high inflation, but the government’s economists have blamed high prices of imported crude oil and rice for the soaring prices of prime commodities.

This January, the second round of fuel excise tax increase took effect after Duterte approved it last December.