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Some Bicolanos applaud BBM’s anti-inflation ways

By Ernesto Delgado

MASBATE CITY --- Bicolano consumers are expressing relief as they observe a noticeable improvement in commodity prices, attributing it to timely government intervention to curb the surge in prices.

In a Quad Media survey conducted on Nov. 11, Philline Villaraiz, a 44-year-old mother, said: “The price surges for rice and other daily essentials seem to be coming to a close.” She emphasized that stability in prices is particularly welcome as she is still repaying a car loan.

Villaraiz, who initially opposed the rice price cap imposed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., now acknowledges its potential role in preventing surge pricing.

Eva Bacaron shares a similar sentiment, noting, “Even if the prices haven’t come down yet, as long as the hefty increases that consumers have endured since late 2021 are over, I can breathe easy while shopping in grocery stores.”

These sentiments align with the recent data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), indicating a decrease in inflation in the Bicol region.

According to PSA Regional Director Cynthia Perdiz, inflation slowed to 4.7 percent in October, down from 5.6 percent in September. The softer inflation figure is attributed to a slower increase in the prices of key food items.

Food inflation specifically eased to 8.0 percent in October from 10.3 percent in the previous month, with notable decreases in the prices of rice, corn, bread, and fish.

Additionally, the restaurants and accommodation services index contributed to the downtrend, with an inflation rate of 6.2 percent in October compared to 6.7 percent in September.

This month’s inflation rate represents an improvement over the 7.2% recorded in October 2022 and the 5.6% from the previous month, with the average inflation rate from January 2023 standing at 6.1%.

The positive news on inflation comes at a crucial time for President Marcos, who has experienced a double-digit decrease in his approval rating, largely attributed to concerns over surging prices.

In September, the President faced criticism for introducing a temporary cap on rice prices, with detractors warning of potential market distortions and shortages. Source: PIA5/Masbate


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