The socioeconomic planning department under the Marcos administration expressed elation on Saturday over the country’s good inflation and employment figures as shown in newly released government data.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon told a news forum in Quezon City that the recent data showed a slowdown in inflation, as well as a rebound in sectors that initially recorded slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released this week, Edillon cited the dip in inflation numbers to 4.1 percent from 4.9 percent the previous month.
“So, magandang balita ‘to kasi especially iyong mga food items na binabantayan natin – kunwari iyong pork meat, iyong sugar, iyong mga vegetables… bumaba po iyong presyo nitong mga ‘to,” Edillon said, noting however that rice prices remained unstable last month.
“Pero iyon nga, nahila naman sa pagbaba ng presyo ng ibang commodities kaya overall, nag-moderate po iyong ating ano… nag-slowdown po iyong inflation natin to 4.1 percent.”
The NEDA official also pointed to the October labor force numbers released on Thursday, which saw a slip in unemployment rate to 4.2 percent.
According to Edillon, they observed an uptick in jobs generated in the tourism-related sector – accommodation, restaurants and some transport, as well as in the information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector.
“So iyon ‘yung mga… actually ito rin talaga iyong mga sectors na binabantayan natin kasi hindi pa sila nakaka-recover to their 2019 levels. So, it’s good to know that they are, you know, they’re really getting back on track,”Edillon said.
With regard to rice prices, Edillon concurred that the price cap imposed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. last September, coupled with the harvest season towards the end of September and October in addition to other factors, helped depress rice prices.
Also the removal of the pass-through fees imposed by local government units (LGUs) to truckers and delivery services also contributed to the drop in the prices of basic goods, she said.
The government, however, has to overcome the challenges on tight rice supply as a result of slowdown in importations because of the export bans abroad as palay-producing countries tighten their exports in preparation for the El Niño phenomenon early next year. | PND