Inflation increased once more leading to the 100 days in office of Marcos Jr. “Alam mo yan, Bongbong. You are well aware of the severe economic situation but you don’t care at all and you don’t have any concrete plans to address the rising inflation.” This was the statement reaction of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on the 6.9% annual inflation rate for September, up by .6 points from 6.3% in August.
This latest rise in the inflation rate is the fastest since October 2018. Last July, Marcos Jr. dismissed the inflation rate, saying “we are not that high.” The accelerating inflation resulted from the steep fall of peso rates against the US dollar over the past weeks. Food and beverages inflation was recorded at a high of 7.4% with prices of almost all foodstuffs increasing every week. Housing, water, electricity, and gas also increased.
Food inflation is also likely to increase in October with the effects of super typhoon Karding on wide swathes of rice farmlands across Central Luzon, especially in the rice-producing province of Nueva Ecija which is now under a state of calamity. Palay prices in Nueva Ecija ranging from P12-14 per kilo are expected to further decline to as low as P10-P11 post-Karding.
KMP said urgent and substantial economic aid or ayuda is needed to cushion the impact of the rising inflation. “Farmers need cash aid and production subsidies. The Department of Agriculture (DA) must do away with its ‘importation obsession’ and seriously consider protectionist policies to protect farmers and local agriculture. All year round, farmers are battered by increasing prices of farm inputs and several typhoons hitting the country.
KMP also called for the sacking of Marcos Jr.’s economic managers led by Department of Finance secretary Benjamin Diokno. Economic recovery will be impossible as long as these economic managers are giving priority to pro-business policies.