Inflation worsening: Gov’t should act fast as households’ incomes hemorrhage

Features Philippines Oct 12, 2018 at 4:27 pm

InflationResearch group IBON said that inflation has not tapered off as government projected but has accelerated in September, highlighting government’s continued neglect in addressing rapidly rising prices of goods and services. The group said that government continues to push failed neoliberal measures, while feigning concern for Filipino families struggling with a quickly falling purchasing power.

Sonny Africa, IBON executive director, said, “The purchasing power of Filipino families continues to fall because the Duterte administration is more concerned about managing the political backlash of rising prices than genuinely addressing the burden on the country’s poorest families.”

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the headline inflation rate accelerated to 6.7% year-on-year in September 2018, higher than the 6.4% in August. Africa said that this is also more than double the 3.0% in the same period last year and over five times the 1.3% in June 2016 at the start of the Duterte administration. The inflation rate for the poorest 30% of families is however likely even higher and some 8.5% or more.

Africa said that inflation has not moderated because the government refuses to suspend implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law or to implement price ceilings on basic necessities and prime commodities. “Doing these would have sent a strong signal of the administration’s sincerity in addressing rising prices and would bring immediate relief for tens of millions of Filipinos,” stated Africa.

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