PH Inflation further eases to 0.8% in October

Robie de Guzman   •   November 5, 2019   •   657

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s headline inflation further eased to 0.8 percent in October, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday.

The PSA said the latest inflation figure is lower than the 0.9 percent recorded in September, and a sharp slide compared to the 6.7 percent in October 2018.

October’s inflation rate is the slowest in more than three years, bringing the year-to-date inflation to 2.6 percent.

Inflation means the rate of increase in prices of goods and services.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa said the downtrend in the latest inflation was primarily due to the annual drop in the index of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as transportation costs.

Slower increases in rates of water, housing, gas, electricity, and other fuels were also noted, as well as in household equipment and routine maintenance, and health and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services.

Mapa added that rice prices also maintained its year-on-year decline, with a 9.7 percent drop for the six-straight month, while transport expenses also settled lower compared to last year.

Data from the PSA also showed that inflation was higher in Metro Manila where prices of basic commodities increased by 1.3 percent. Prices in regions, meanwhile, moved slower in an average of 0.7 percent.

Malacañang welcomed the slower inflation rate but assured it will continue to monitor the prices of basic commodities especially during the holiday season.

“As inflation continues to drop, the current government will continue to not let its guard down in monitoring the prices of basic commodities, especially now that we are in the ber months, approaching Christmas season,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) also welcomed the latest inflation rate, attributing it to the government’s drive and focus in its anti-inflationary efforts this year.

“We hope to further keep inflation manageable and within the government’s target,” NEDA Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion Navarro said in a separate statement.

She, however, warned that the country must be in the lookout for upside risks such as cases of African Swine Fever (ASF), which have been observed so far in Rizal, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, and Quezon City.

“The livestock industry in the said ASF-stricken areas, which accounts for 21.7 percent of the country’s total hog production last year, remains at high risk. The government and private companies must collaborate to manage, contain, and control the spread of the disease,” Navarro said.

She also urged meat processing plants to enforce more stringent bio-security measures, and expand and place quarantine checkpoints and disinfection facilities in key gateways such as seaports, airports, and expressways.

PSA fast tracks implementation of national ID System

Marje Pelayo   •   May 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) is fast-tracking the full implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or the national ID under Republic Act No. 11055.

This is to improve future targeting and distribution of financial assistance to poor and low-income households, the agency said. 

Part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to PSA is the immediate activation the national ID system. 

It is also part of the President’s latest report to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. 

The PSA targets to register around 5 million low-income households by December 2020. 

Meanwhile, the agency plans to kick-start the registration process by October 2020 in all 46 registration centers and 1,170 mobile registration centers nationwide.

It is also coordinating with the Landbank of the Philippines to be able to utilize its 126 branches as additional registration centers for PhilSys.

The President signed the PhilSys Act in August 2018. MNP (with information from Rosalie Coz)

NEDA optimistic on PH economy’s recovery from crisis

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 11, 2020

Despite a decline in the Philippine’s gross domestic product (GDP) during the first quarter, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) is optimistic the country can recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

NEDA reported a 0.2 percent decline in the country’s GDP in the first quarter of 2020, compared to the 5.7 percent growth during the same period last year.

NEDA Acting Secretary Karl Chua said the implementation of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) of several areas in the country opens the opportunity to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Marami nang probinsya ang inilagay sa GCQ. Ibig sabihin, pwede na sa trabaho ang 75% of workers. So ito po ay inaasahan natin na makatulong sa pagbalik sigla ng ekonomiya, (There are now a lot of provinces under GCQ. It means 75% of workers can return to work. So we are expecting this can help in the economy’s recovery),” he said.

Chua reported there is a slow growth in all major sectors of the economy after a few businesses were only allowed to operate under the ECQ.

“Growth in the Services sector significantly moderated to 1.4 percent. Industry sector growth also declined by 3.0 percent, with the drop in manufacturing and construction and the sustained decline in mining and quarrying,” he said.

However, despite this, the country still enjoys a low and stable inflation and is still in a good position to recover strongly because of our country’s solid macroeconomic and fiscal management.

Chua said they are already coordinating with Congress to come up with an economy recovery program for industries and business affected by the health crisis.

“The program will include highly targeted tax incentives that are time-bound, transparent, and performance-based to help us attract the right types of investments and help firms recover,” he said. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

NEDA eyes Nat’l ID registration of 5-M Filipinos this year as it crafts COVID-19 recovery plan

Marje Pelayo   •   April 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expects to complete the data on the overall impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the Philippine economy by end of April.

According to NEDA Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, such data is necessary in crafting a comprehensive recovery plan to bounce back from the crisis.

Aside from the ongoing consumer and businesses surveys that the agency is currently doing, it also plans to roll out a wider survey for that matter.

By the end of the month, malalaman na natin ang impact or ang total effect ng ating virus problem (By the end of the month, we will be able to measure the impact or the total effect of the virus [on our economy]),” Chua said.

Base diyan, kung may evidence na tayo ay makakapag-craft po tayo ng maganda at angkop na recovery plan (From there, with evidence at hand,we will be able to craft a comprehensive and appropriate recovery plan),” he assured.

Meanwhile, in response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte, NEDA is pursuing the registration of five million Filipinos this year in view of the implementation of a National ID system through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

This is to facilitate the speedy distribution of government aid to the intended beneficiaries.

“Sila ay pwede pong makilala na sa mga iba’t ibang social amelioration programs (It would be a way to identify them for social amelioration programs),” Chua noted.

Puwede rin po silang magbukas ng bank account para iyong pagbibigay ng tulong, hindi na cash and door-to-door, (It will allow them to open a bank account for the aid instead of cash or door-to-door),” he added.

Chua said the agency is currently facilitating the expeditious procurement of materials and equipment necessary to kick start the mass registration preferably in June or July.

The official stressed, however, that the timeline will depend on the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

NEDA is targeting to register 80 to 90 million Filipinos before the end of the Duterte administration. MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)

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