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Philippine Inflation Impact
« on: May 24, 2018, 10:34:45 AM »
Press Release
REP. MICHAEL “MIKEE” L. ROMERO, Ph.D.
1-PACMAN Party-list
Assistant Majority Leader
Twitter: @MikeeRomeroPhD

HIGHER INFLATION COULD BE UP THE ROAD AHEAD FOR PHL

To address emerging higher inflation, do we need supplemental budget and bills to amend specific provisions of the TRAIN Law, economist-solon asks Pres. Duterte’s economic manager. 

Crude oil prices in the world market seem to be heading toward $100 again. We’ve all been there before and that lasted for about three years (2011 to 2013). While that develops, another rising trend line has emerged and this is the continuing depreciation of the peso against the dollar.

Table 1 – OPEC Basket Price Yearly

TABLE 2 – OPEC Basket Price Weekly
 
Sources: OPEC website - http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/data_graphs/40.htm

Table 3 - Peso-Dollar exchange rate period averages (Jan 2016 to Apr 2018)
 
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph/statistics/spei_new/tab13_php.htm

These two macroeconomic factors can complicate the country’s inflation conditions later this year and in the first half of 2019.

Only last May 10, the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral “decided to increase the interest rate on the BSP’s overnight reverse repurchase (RRP) facility by 25 basis points to 3.25 percent. The interest rates on the overnight lending and deposit facilities were likewise raised accordingly.”

These slightly higher rates make money more expensive and has the effect of reducing the appetite of the economy for more money, thereby reducing inflation pressures.

The Monetary Board also said its own “latest forecasts have further shifted higher, indicating that inflation pressures could become more broad-based over the policy horizon.”

If and when rising crude oil prices and peso depreciation influence what the Bangko Sentral said are “price pressures emanating from possible adjustments in transport fares, utility rates, and wages”, it is possible that we could have inflation ranging from 4 percent to under 5 percent over the next 12 months.

Inflation last March and April was already at 4.3 percent and 4.5 percent respectively, according to the Bangko Sentral.

Considering these developments, we ask the economic managers of the executive branch to update Congress on its strategies and tactics for heading off inflation over the next 12 to 18 months. We also want to know from the DSWD, DOH, DepEd, CHED, and TESDA what their social safety nets are for the possible or probable higher-than-forecast inflation. 

We may have to enact a supplemental budget and bills to amend specific provisions of the TRAIN Law.

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