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BARMM’s inflation rate still low despite slight increase in January 2023

MARAWI CITY (PIA)—Despite the slight increase in the region's inflation rate in January this year, BARMM is still considered "low" across the country, placing the region at the 4th lowest inflation rate in the Philippines.

The inflation rate across the BARMM region rose to 7.8 percent in January 2023, compared to 6.3% in December 2022, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA-BARMM) said in a report released, February 14.

PSA-BARMM Officer-in-Charge Regional Director Engr. Akan Tula said the main sources of inflation rate acceleration in the region’s inflation were due to an increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages at 9.6 percent compared to the previous month; an increase in restaurant and accommodation services at 12.0 percent compared to 6.9 percent for the previous month; and an increase in housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels at 4.5 percent compared to the previous month of December 2022.

"The major contributions to the increase in the region’s inflation rate are due to increases in the prices of commodities like vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas, and pulses such as onions; flour, bread, and other bakery products like cassava; housing services or rentals; and the prices of gas, oils, and fuels," Tula said.

Meanwhile, Senior Economic Development Specialist of the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) Camella De Vera said the ongoing war in Ukraine and the continuous effect of the COVID-19 pandemic have added factors to the "unstable inflation rate" not just in the Bangsamoro region but also in the entire country.

"The geopolitical tensions in Europe plus the disruption of the supply chain in the region due to weather systems and low-pressure in some areas, which disrupt the transportation of commodities, are among the factors that influence the increase of the inflation rate in the region," said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Senior Research Specialist Zarinah Aligsao.

Aligsao was very optimistic and stressed that this increase in prices of commodities is driven by the increased tourism in some areas and more people going out, which is a "good indicator of driving the economy" of the region.

Among the provinces in BARMM, Basilan recorded the highest inflation rate at 11.7 percent, followed by Tawi-Tawi at 9.9 percent, Lanao del Sur at 9.5 percent, Maguindanao at 6.6 percent, and Sulu with the lowest inflation rate at 4.0 percent.

The report also mentioned that Cotabato City's inflation rate climbed to 7.4 percent in January 2023, compared to the 5.3 percent rate in the previous month of December 2022. (BIO/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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