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Inflation in NorMin ticks upward to 5.0% in August 2023

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--For the first time this year, inflation in Northern Mindanao revved to 5.0 percent (%) in August from the 4.0% inflation recorded in July this year.

"The main sources of acceleration of August 2023 inflation were Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages with an inflation rate of 9.1% from 7.5% in July 2023; Transport with an inflation rate of -1.5% from -7.9% in July; and Education Services with an inflation rate of 3.4% from 1.6% in July 2023," said Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)- 10 Chief Statistical Specialist Sarah Balagbis in a press conference, September 27.

She said the main driver of the 4.6 percentage points increase in inflation in Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages was Cereals and Cereal Products, with an inflation of 9.5% from 4.9% in July, with rice as the source of acceleration. 

Vegetables, Tubers, Plantains, Cooking Bananas, and Pulses also added to the increase at 25.1% inflation from 19.2% in July, an acceleration of 5.9 percentage points with tomatoes as the source of acceleration. 

Moreover, Fruits and Nuts, with an inflation of 12.0%, increased by 1.3 percentage points from the 10.7% inflation in July 2023, with fresh mango as the source of acceleration.

For Transport, Balagbis said the acceleration was attributable to gasoline, which posted a slower decrease of prices at -10.8% in August 2023 from -24.5% inflation in July 2023. Diesel also posted a slower decrease in prices at -16.9% from -33.6% in July 2023, while Passenger Transport by Bus posted a faster increase in prices at 16.4% from 11.6% in July 2023.

PSA-10 data also showed that Education Services inflation quickened by 1.8 percentage points because Tertiary Education increased from 0.7% in July to 5.0% in August, while Review Classes for Professional and Licensure Examinations and Primary Education increased by 11.7 percentage points and 0.2 percentage points, respectively.

"The major contributors to the August 2023 inflation in Region 10 were Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages with an inflation rate of 9.1% and a percent share of 72.6%; Restaurants and Accommodation Services with an inflation 6.6% and a percent share of 8.1%; and Personal Care and Miscellaneous Goods and Services with an inflation of 5.4% and a percent share of 4.4%," Balagbis added.

Meanwhile, all the provinces and highly urbanized cities in the region posted faster price increases in August 2023, compared to the previous month, except for Camiguin, which posted a slower price rise. The highest inflation rate was in Lanao del Norte at 6.6%, while the lowest was in Iligan City at 1.7%

PSA-10 Chief Statistical Specialist Sarah Balagbis reports that the main sources of acceleration of August 2023 inflation in Northern Mindanao were Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages, Transport, and Education Services. (DCC/PIA-10)

Cushioning the impacts of inflation

Considering the effects of supply and demand on commodity prices, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 has continuously provided interventions to farmers to boost agriculture production, especially rice, corn, and vegetable crops.

"We are distributing fertilizers, hybrid rice seeds, and certified rice seeds to our farmers in various areas of the region to help increase production. We also do the same for corn, naa tay (we have) seeds and fertilizers distribution for production support. For vegetables, we also distribute vegetable seeds and fertilizers," said Lana May Racines, DA-10's OIC for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division.

She said DA-10 also provides agricultural infrastructure support and community irrigation systems to support production. 

On the part of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-10, Planning Officer Blessie Cimacio said they intensified their price monitoring for basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) throughout the region. 

DTI-10 likewise conducts Diskwento Caravan in partnership with DA's Kadiwa and NFA to provide affordable prices to the public.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-10, on the other hand, disclosed that they will provide a P6,500 fuel subsidy to operators of public utility vehicles to help the transportation sector cope with the rising fuel prices.

LTFRB-10 Records Officer Maulana Ahmad III said they submitted on September 14 the list of 8,428 beneficiaries for the program and they are waiting for the LTFRB Central Office's validation and approval of the listed beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, DA-10 hopes for better prices of fuel in the coming weeks to help push down the prices of some agricultural commodities. 

"Hopefully mag-decrease ang fuel [prices] kay daayo kaayo siya effect. We use machineries, ang pag-deliver sa atong fertilizers and products maggamit og fuel, so apil sa atong production cost and transportation," explained Racines.

The PSA-10 is also hopeful that the Executive Order No. 39 of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. which mandates the rice price ceilings would yield positive results and lower rice inflation this month.

The national government has started implementing a nationwide price ceiling on regular and well-milled rice as part of efforts to address rising prices of the national staple. (APB/PIA-10)

DA-10 OIC for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division Lana May Racines shares that their Department has continuously provided interventions to farmers to boost agriculture production further. (DCC/PIA-10)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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