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NEDA warns fare hike might cause further spike on inflation rate

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines inflation rate has skyrocketed to 6.7% in the month of September and to a staggering 6.2% mark for the 3rd quarter of 2018.

The approved fare hike on buses and public utility jeepneys is already set on the first week of November.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) warned that the fare increase might cause a huge impact on the country’s inflation rate or a further rise in prices of basic goods and services.

NEDA however could not say just how big the impact of the fare hikes would be on the inflation.

“Anything that increases cost of service would be. We’ll have to find out what quantitative is that will be, we’ll see by how much,” said NEDA Director Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

According to Secretary Pernia, their original proposal was only a 50-centavo increase in minimum fare to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon in her letter to the LTFRB explained that the fare hike’s “inflationary impact will, however, result in higher inflation in 2019.”

The NEDA forecasts an estimated an increase of “0.221-percentage point to the country’s annual inflation next year.”

But LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra believes otherwise and argued that the fare hike will only cause a slight impact on the country’s inflation.

“We have been calculating enough na kahit na dito sa dagdag piso na binigay natin hindi masyadong makaka-apekto duon sa inflation rate,” he said.

Amid the issue, Malacañang through Presidential Spokesperson and Presidential Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo calls on the riding public to do some belt-tightening measures because the government’s actions are limited by the uncontrollable movement of oil prices in the world market.

“Siguro we have to accept the fact na talagang masama ang panahon, so magtiis muna tayo,” Panelo concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Inflation hits the highest in 9 years at 6.4%; DBM says ‘manageable’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

PASIG CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday (September 5) that the country’s inflation rate has beaten records since 2009 at 6.4% in August this year.

This exceeded the forecasts of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) which was at 5.8% and the Department of Finance (DOF) at 5.9%.

But according to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, this rate is still “manageable.”

Diokno believes that the high prices of basic commodities such as rice, fish, and oil in the global market greatly affect the country’s inflation rate.

“Yes, manageable. I’ve seen worst inflations. I’ve been in the government for 50 years. (During the) time ni Marcos nga, magkano? 50 percent inflation,” the Budget Secretary explained.

However, he insists that the Congress should act on the immediate passage of proposed measures to curb the impact of inflation to the public such as the rice tariffication act.

The government vows to speed up the implementation of mitigating measures that would ease the effects of high inflation in the country from this year to 2020.

Coinciding with the skyrocketing inflation rate, Diokno proposed an increase in the country’s inflation rate forecasts.

Meanwhile, the economic managers of the Duterte administration are set to convene to discuss the proposed measures to address the matter. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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NEDA explains P10,000 monthly average consumer basket

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2018




QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) maintained that the P10,000 monthly budget it presented on June 5 was only to set an example on how the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law affects an average Filipino family.

In fact, NEDA Undersecretary Rose Edillon said she herself is not convinced that such amount is sufficient for an average family’s monthly sustenance.

“Iyong ibinigay namin na mga figure na iyon, actually, that’s based on a survey. Pero ito iyong tinatawag natin na weight ng consumer basket so iyon ang average,” Edillon explained.

In a presentation on Tuesday, June 5, NEDA provided a sample breakdown of the P10,000 monthly income of an average Filipino household which is likely to spend P3,834 pesos for food; around P6,000 for non-food items such as clothing and utility payments; P1,300 for rent and P158  for simple vices. Aside form these items, an average family also spend money for health, transportation and communication needs.

Edillon explained that given the rise in the inflation rate, P10,000 will definitely not be enough.

“Kung ang budget mo ay P10,000 in a month, matamaan ka ng 4.6 na inflation rate, ibig sabihin nito may dagdag actually na P459 para sa gastusin,” she added.

But for Ibon Foundation, a staunch critic of the agency, a Filipino family should be receiving a budget that is thrice NEDA’s average amount of P10,000 to be able to live conveniently. Specifically, according to the research group, a family of five should be receiving P35,000 a month or what it calls as “family living wage.”

“Mismong ang National Wages and Productivity Commission din naman ang naglabas in the early 1990’s na sa ngayon ang kanyang halaga ay P1,173/ day for a family of five so that would be around P35,000 a month,” said Ibon’s Executive Editor Rosario Bella Guzman.

Meanwhile, labor group ALU-TUCP calls on NEDA to be cautious in making such sensitive statement because it could affect the outcome of their petition for a wage increase.

“Kailangan din natin sigurong batikusin ito at kuwestyunin. Baka kasi ito ay mensahe ng NEDA para sa gobyerno at mensahe ng NEDA para sa wage board na huwag magbigay ng significant wage increase,” argued Alan Tanjusay, spokesperson of ALU-TUCP.

The group has an existing petition seeking for the implementation of an P800 national minimum wage  to the increasing prices of basic commodities. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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Increase in prices of goods in first 2 months of 2018, not due to TRAIN law – DOF

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The overall inflation rate has reached to almost four percent in January.

This has been noticeably higher from the 3.3% recorded rate in December 2017, based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.

Before the implementation of  Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, a liter of diesel had an average price of P33. But now, there has been a recorded increase of P9 after the law was implemented in January.

According to economic officials, the TRAIN law is not the cause of the increase in prices of some basic commodities such as oil and meat.

“I think there was a quite an appreciable rise in the price of rice and this also has something to do with the fact that some disarray in the way our rice stocks were handled including importation and whatever buffer we had with NFA [National Food Authority],” said National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

The price hike, they said can also be attributed to the increase in price of Dubai crude, the peso depreciation and to natural calamities.

“The other food items where we saw accelerated inflation were meat and fish. I suppose when it comes to the meat, it also has something to do with increased prices in corn, and this was also due to typhoons, the lingering effects of the typhoons,” said NEDA Usec. Rosemarie Edilon.

“Yung DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and DOE (Department of Energy), they have mechanisms naman for the public and inform them kung may nagsasamantala. Tapos ‘yung DTI mayroong regular price monitoring, so far wala naman silang nakikita and ‘yung mga sinabihan nila na medyo mas mataas sa SRP, nag-adjust naman sila downwards,” said Department of Finance (DOF) Usec. Karl Kendrick Chua.

(DTI and DOE have mechanisms for the public and [people may] inform them if there are abusers. DTI also has a regular price monitoring. So far they haven’t seen any [irregularities], and the ones who were called out for having prices higher than the SRP have adjusted their prices downwards.)  — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue


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