ILOILO City – The Philippine headline inflation rate rose to a new nine-year high in August at 6.4 percent but Western Visayas exceeded the record national average at a staggering 7.4 percent, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
Fourteen regions out of 17 recorded a higher annual inflation in August compared with their previous month’s rates.
Among the regions outside the National Capital Region, the highest mark-up of 9 percent was observed in Region 5 (Bicol Region) while the lowest rate of 3.6 percent remained in Region 3 (Central Luzon). Region 6 comes in at fourth after Bicol Region, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (8.1 percent) and Soccsksargen (7.9 percent). In NCR, inflation went up at 7 percent in August.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Iloilo provincial director Diosdado Cadena was surprised by the August inflation rate for Western Visayas, noting that the region is largely self-sufficient, relying little on imports from other regions so prices should thus be stable.
“In Western Visayas damu kita ya local producers [farmers and fisherfolk], [by that logic] Manila [and NCR] should be the highest,” Cadena told Panay News after a press conference on the agency’s price monitoring efforts at Muelle Deli and Restaurant. “Ang ma-intervention ta lang is to address the supply by talking to the concerned agencies. If agri products, sa Department of Agriculture, prime commodities sa amun sa DTI. At the retail end, we also need to ensure nga ga-comply ang tanan sa fair trade laws to avoid profiteering.”
“Ang inflation naga-indicate kung paano gahulag ang mga presyo sing goods, especially ang mga agricultural products and prime commodities,” continued Cadena. “Ang masubo sa mataas nga inflation, ang igo gid sini ang mga pigado because of the higher prices, especially sing mga kalan-on kag mayor nga kilanlanon.”