GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Despite last month’s recorded 7.9% inflation rate, officials of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) believe that consumer prices in Region 12 remain manageable.
In a statement on September 11, Noel Quiratman, assistant regional director of NEDA-Region 12, noted that government agencies are working to address the inflation rate in Soccsksargen in light of the significant increases seen over the last few months.
Quiratman cited measures such as moves to control the prices of basic goods and ensure supply availability for consumers.
Appearing on a local television show, Quiratman assured citizens that the situation is under control.
“Overall, there’s no need to worry about it because it’s still within the manageable (level),” he said.
According to a report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority last August, Region 12 showed the second highest inflation rate in Mindanao. Topping the list was the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao’s 8.1 percent rate.
Quiratman identified the surge in the price of commercial rice, which reached over 12 percent, as a factor contributing to the increase in the overall region’s inflation rate. The inflation for prices of fish increased because of a decreased supply in part thanks to declining climate conditions, said Quiratman.
The nationwide inflation rate, or the percentage growth of prices of weighted value of goods and services, was 6.4 percent last month.
Another consideration outlined in the interview is the consumer tendency to “hoard” goods when inflation rates soar, causing a shortage of supply in the market.
However, Quiratman cited the increasing prices of fuel as the main trigger. Fuel prices are dictated by the world market.
“The situation is mainly because of supply-driven factor. The country presently imports 94 percent of our oil requirements,” he said.
When asked about whether the situation is linked to recent reforms such as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law, Quiratman clarified that the measure contributed only 0.4 percent to the rise in inflation.
“We encourage everybody to be vigilant about the situation and also spend within our means,” he said.