February 8, 2023
MANILA — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he expects to see the country’s inflation rate going down and the 8.7 percent rate posted in January 2023 is “going to be as high as it’s going to get.”
The President said the measures that his administration has taken to bring down inflation “have not yet gone through the system.”
He acknowledged that the effects of these measures, which included the importation of many agricultural products to bring down their prices, “will take a little time” to be felt.
Nonetheless, he remained optimistic that the inflation rate will eventually decrease, with the dip in the prices of fuel and agricultural products.
“My continuing estimate or forecast is that we can see the lowering of the inflation rate by the second quarter of this year,” Marcos said in a video message.
“As of now, with fuel prices going down and the prices of agricultural products, with the importation, are also slowly going down, I think we will see the effects on the inflation rate further down the road,” he added.
“I sincerely believe that this is going to be as high as it’s going to get,” the President continued.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the high inflation rate was mainly driven by increases in housing rentals, electricity and water rates, as well as in the prices of vegetables, milk, eggs, fruits and nuts.
National Statistician Dennis Mapa said the January headline print was the fastest since the 9.1 percent in November 2008.
It was also almost thrice as fast as the 3 percent recorded in January 2022.
In December 2022, inflation was at 8.1 percent.
For its part, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said the government has identified measures to keep food price movements consistent with the government’s inflation and food security objectives.
Higher agricultural productivity, food supply augmentation, and energy security were seen as priorities to temper upward price pressures.
“As part of the administration’s 8-point agenda and the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, the government is implementing measures to ease price pressures and cushion the impact of inflation, especially on basic commodities,” Neda Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement.
Short-term measures include augmenting supply such as through temporary easing of import restrictions, price monitoring, and targeted cash support.
Meanwhile, medium- to long-term priorities include ensuring food security through higher agricultural productivity and ensuring energy security by pursuing the energy transition and development program, Malacañang said.
The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said the country’s economic managers expect inflation to moderate in 2023 to 2024, with a slower-than-expected global recovery and waning pent-up domestic demand.
Also, the impact of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) rate hikes is anticipated to be felt this year.