President Rodrigo Du-terte’s administration is facing its “first near crisis” with faster than expected inflation, an administration congressman said.
If left unchecked, rising consumer prices might hamper the President’s “ability to implement structural reforms,” said Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s point man on counter inflation.
Consumer prices rose 5.7 percent in July, exceeding the Bangko Sentral’s goal for the fifth straight month and quickening for the seventh straight month. It was also the highest in data since January 2013.
Inflation could accelerate to 5.9 percent in August if measures, such as removing tariffs on certain basic food imports, were not put in place, Salceda said.
“This is already, I would say, the first near crisis for the administration kasi it will create more poor people and definitely hungry people,” he told a media forum in Manila.
Arroyo’s proposal, which was submitted to Duterte’s economic managers, includes deferring “implementation or approval of regulated price adjustments.” It also urges the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to “take strong policy action to control inflationary expectations as well as speculation.”