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Bicolanos notice slowing inflation and like it

MASBATE CITY (PIA) -- Bicolano consumers noticed an “improvement” in the prices of commodities which they credit to the timely intervention by the government to arrest the surge of commodity prices.

Philline Villaraiz, a 44-year-old mother, told a Quad Media survey conducted in Nov. 11: “The price surges for rice and other daily essentials seem to be coming to a close.”

“Since October, the prices have barely moved and that's a good thing because I still have a car loan to pay,” she said.

“I was one of the opponents of the price cap on rice imposed by President (Ferdinand) Marcos Jr., but now I will admit that that policy may have put the brakes on surge pricing,” she told Edilberto Doremon, Quad Media’s senior researcher.

Eva Bacaron shared Villaraiz’s sentiment. Said she: “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.”

Their reaction corresponded with the latest reading of inflation in the Bicol region by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

According to the PSA in Bicol, inflation, as measured by the 

A shopper checks out the canned goods section at LCC Mart in Masbate City, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023

 changes in the prices of goods and services that households consume, eased in October on the back of a slower increase in the prices of food.

In a press conference on Thursday (Nov. 9), PSA Regional Director Cynthia Perdiz said inflation slowed to 4.7 percent in October, from 5.6 percent in September.
Perdiz said last month’s 

softer inflation figure was mainly due to slower price growth of key food items.

Food inflation eased to 8.0 percent in October from 10.3 percent in the previous month, with the prices of rice, corn, bread, and fish slowing significantly, according to PSA data.

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

This month's inflation rate is an improvement over the 7.2% recorded in October 2022 and the 5.6% last month.

The average inflation rate from January 2023 is 6.1%.

The latest inflation reading brings good news for President Marcos, who saw a double-digit decrease in his approval rating in a recent poll. Surging prices were the primary concern among those surveyed.

The President received criticism in September for introducing a temporary cap on rice prices, which his detractors warned could lead to market distortions and shortages. (PIA5/Masbate)

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Ernesto Delgado

Information Officer 3

Region 5

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