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Bicol’s inflation rate rose in March - PSA

By Kim Villafuerte

The Bicol Region witnessed an increase in inflation in March 2024 according to the recent data that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Region V released during their press conference on April 12. DTI attributed this to the increase in food, transportation, housing and service costs.

From the 2.9% inflation rate recorded in February, the region’s overall inflation rate rose to 3.7% in March.

Out of all the provinces, Catanduanes reported the highest inflation rate again at 4.9%. Sorsogon, on the other hand, had the lowest inflation rate of 1.6%. Other provinces such as Albay, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur recorded inflation rates of 4.1%, 4.2%, and 3.7%.

PSA Regional Director Cynthia Perdiz says that the major contributor to the region’s inflation rise is the increase in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages more specifically, rice.

According to Jasmin Zantua of NEDA Region V, this is because when food prices go up, the overall inflation rate will also increase.

Although there is no shortage in the region’s rice supply as stated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) V, Bicolano farmers will still set their rice prices the same as other regions in the country.

It is to be noted that the country’s rice inflation spiked up to 24.4% during the month of March.

Other contributors include the price increase of commodities such as LPG and kerosene as well as transport costs due to higher prices of gasoline and diesel. Additionally, since prices have gone up, it led to a higher cost of living which also resulted in higher service fees among restaurants and other accommodation services.

As of now, the Bicol Region is ranked 6th in the national inflation rate category.


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