PBBM should control worsening inflation | Inquirer Opinion
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PBBM should control worsening inflation

/ 09:16 AM October 11, 2022

After 100 honeymoon days of this administration, public clamor is growing for concrete and immediate action against high inflation, now the number one problem of Filipinos. From a six-month average of 4.4 percent since January, it went up to 6.1 in June, 6.4 in July, 6.3 in August and finally 6.9 this September.

Our peso dollar rate is nearly P60 to one and economist Albay Rep. Joey Salceda says, we might see this going down to P65 and a high of P68 in the coming days. Today, we were hit by a bigtime P6.80/liter increase in diesel, basic fuel of transport and industries. Global oil prices, now at $80 per barrel, is expected to rise to $120/barrel with OPEC cutting production at 2M barrels a day next month, aggravated further by the nuclear tensions between Russia and Ukraine.


President Bongbong Marcos and his economic managers insist that our “high 6.9 inflation” is an imported 80 percent problem and that if local numbers are examined, we are below the government’s targeted 4 percent. The peso’s weakness is pushed by the continuing increase of US interest rates also depreciating Japan’s yen, British pound, EU’s euro, Thai baht, and others.

But now, the public’s cry for action against inflation is getting louder. In the September 17-21 Pulse Asia survey, a total average 66 percent of Filipinos nationwide wants BBM to control inflation. People in Mindanao are at the forefront with 81 percent followed by Visayas with 71 percent while Metro Manila is at 68 percent and Balance of Luzon at 56 percent. On demographics, the class D people are hurting, 71 percent saying BBM should act against inflation. Remember that Class D consists of self-employed people, drivers and market vendors lower middle income, about 78 percent of voters who chose BBM and SARA.


Another September survey, PAHAYAG 3rd quarter indicated that the country’s economy is the most pressing of all issues that Filipino voters want BBM to focus on. 67 percent of 1,500 respondents are saying he should prioritize the economy, prices/inflation, poverty, jobs, and corruption. Of these, 70 percent are from Balance Luzon, 69 percent in Metro Manila, 61 percent in Visayas and 59 percent in Mindanao.

At this point, I have not encountered any initiative from the present dispensation to address a future economic shock, predicted to arrive later this year or next year. You’ve probably heard of the California stimulus checks of $1,050 per family, which is part of the $17B relief package that would also suspend sales tax on diesel and aid people in their rent and utility bills.

Of course, they may argue California or US is not the Philippines. But at least, their state government acted, helping their people fight rising costs. Right now, US inflation is at 8.3 percent, while ours is already 6.9 percent and rising.

Is there an executive plan or a legislative agenda on what the government will do on worst case scenarios in case the peso dollar exchange rates shoot to P65, the global oil prices again to the $120 per barrel levels and an emerging world food crisis? I’m not aware of any.

My good friend, BiznewsAsia publisher and Tuesday Group fellow Tony Lopez calls inflation as the Public Enemy number one of the Filipino. Tony says, inflation, like corruption, steals your money, without you not being able to do anything about it.

Well, the rising survey numbers today are confirming this. With 6.9 percent inflation survey in September, your 100 apples bought last year for P100 pesos will lose about 7 apples. With the deteriorating peso, your money value goes further down the drain.

(Pause for next topic)


QC-LGU gets second ‘unqualified opinion’ from COA

Quezon city mayor Joy Belmonte gifted all city employees a P10K bonus each as gratitude for their contribution the city’s “sound financial management recognition” from the Commission on Audit (COA).

The bonus was approved thru ordinance no. SP-3138 of 2022 granting the incentive to all employees, including contract employees, job orders and consultants. Authored by Councilors Dorothy Delarmente, Shaira Liban, Wenceron Lagumbay and Eric Medina, the ordinance said it is high time that the gains of the LGU, contributed by all the employees must be felt by them.

For the years 2020 and 2021, the QC- LGU was recognized by COA which granted its second “unqualified opinion” on their handling of government funds. An “unqualified opinion” is the highest audit opinion COA gives to a government agency.

I am a proud QCitizen and this COA finding is testament that our tax money is well spent by Mayor Belmonte, who incidentally may be possessed with superenergy. Aside from her regular work at QC HALL, she visits weekly all the six district offices, spending hours, listening, and acting on all requests or complaints from her constituents.

Kudos, Mayor Joy Belmonte.


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TAGS: Bongbong Marcos, inflation
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