Headline inflation rose again in January 2021 after the recorded kicks in commodity prices, especially when it comes to food, according to the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA).
“Ang headline inflation o ang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga produkto at serbisyo sa bansa ay tumaas sa antas na 4.2% nitong buwan ng Enero 2021,” PSA said on Wednesday.
This is the highest inflation recorded in the country since January 2019 when it hit 4.4%.
These data are very high compared to the expectations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which was initially estimated at 3.3-4.1%. It also exceeded its 2-4% target this year.
Products such as food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed the most to the increase of inflation rates last month.
Just a few weeks ago, there was a strong kick in the price of pork, something that is now playing at P390-P400 per kilo when it comes to liempo and P350-P370 when it comes to kasim, according to price monitoring by the Department of Agriculture on Thursday.
“Ito ay dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng karne, partikular ang baboy, na may mas mataas na inflation sa antas na 17.1% sa buwan ng Enero 2021,” PSA said.
“Ang isa pang dahilan ay ang pagtaas ng presyo ng gulay, gaya kamatis, sa antas na 21.2%. Ang presyo ng prutas, gaya ng saging at mangga, ay tumaas din sa bilis na 9.0 percent.”
Inflation in January 2021 highest in 2 years
African swine fever has had a profound effect on pork supplies, which has affected prices.
Inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) is 4.3%, while in Cagayan Valley it is at 8%, up from 6.6% in December 2020. The Zamboanga Peninsula has the lowest inflation figures at 0.2%.
Due to the staggering prices, President Rodrigo Duterte has intervened through his Executive Order 124, s. 2020, something that sets a limit when it comes to pork and chicken prices in Metro Manila starting February 8 for 60 days.
Duterte first ordered a crackdown against hoarders and exploited the price of meat to curb the alleged manipulation of commodity prices.
“Hindi na po pupwedeng ibenta ang baboy, ang pigue, na higit pa sa P270/kilo. Ang liempo hindi pupwedeng ibenta nang mas mataas pa sa P300/kilo at ang dressed chicken ay hindi po pu-pwedeng ibenta nang [higit sa] P160/kilo,” according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement, Feb. 1.