MANILA, Philippines — The country’s inflation jumped in August, according to the latest report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday (September 7).
The agency said the August inflation of 4.9% was higher than what was recorded in July which was at 4.0%, and almost doubled in the same month in 2020 which was at 2.4%.
According to PSA, the recent inflation was due to certain factors that affect the supply of goods in the country.
“May mga areas na naapektuhan dahil sa mga pag-ulan. Pangalawa ang ating issue sa transportation cost higher charges sa delivery,” explained PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa who also acts as the agency’s National Statistician and Civil Registrar General.
In terms of agriculture, the price of pork was high due to the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) on the country’s local hog industry.
The adjustments in the price of fish and vegetables also contributed to the increase in the inflation rate.
Also, utility rates such as electricity and water spiked in the previous months as well as the cost of services.
But according to Mapa, one major factor that caused a spike in inflation was transportation costs especially during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) accompanied by a series of oil price hikes.
“Itong ECQ sa transport, nakikita na natin tumataas talaga ang fare rate ng tricycle. In the past months ito talaga ang nag contribute sa mataas na inflation sa transport index natin,” Mapa said.
At present, Agriculture Undersecretary Kristine Evangelista said the price of pork in local markets has already dropped since the supply is gradually improving.
“Maganda po ang supply situation ng ating pork industry ngayon compared to dati. Meron narin po kasing mga naka recover na mga red zones ngayon po ay green zones at derederetso rin po yung repopulation,” she said.
She stressed, however, that prices of basic agricultural products like pork and vegetables are normally high at this time of the year.
Evangelista said the Agriculture department is eyeing an additional importation of round scad or galunggong which is known as the ‘poor man’s fish’ to hopefully stabilize its price. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo