President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said the country’s inflation rate—which hit a 14-year-high of 8.1 percent in December—is keeping him awake every night even as he expressed confidence it will begin to ease by the first quarter of the year.
“This year, truly, that is the problem that is keeping me awake—inflation. That’s what I lose sleep every night over—how to bring down inflation,” Mr. Marcos said.
“I’m determined to bring down, to make sure inflation starts to come down in the first quarter,” he added.
December’s inflation rate brought the annual average up to 5.8 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, for his part, said headline inflation rates could ease to 4 percent by mid-year.
“2023 inflation should hit the 4.0 level by mid-year. And that will boost consumer demand further,” he said.
Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said prices of basic and prime commodities are bound to stabilize by mid-2023 amid efforts of the government to stem inflation and reduce to cost of consumer goods.
“We must remember that the high cost of commodities is a result of global supply disruption, from the Russian-Ukraine war. It is not internal. I expect that by the middle of this year, we will start seeing a drop in the prices of commodities,’ he said at the Laging Handa public briefing Monday.
Meanwhile, the country’s oil firms raised pump prices by as much as P2.80 per liter—a bit higher than projected prices last week—effective 6 a.m. today (Tuesday) to reflect the movement of prices in the world market.
The oil firms raised the price of gasoline by P2.80 per liter, kerosene by P2.40 per liter, and diesel by P2.25 per liter.
On Jan. 17, the oil companies increased the price of gasoline by P0.95 per liter and diesel by P0.50 per liter but cut the price of kerosene by P0.15 per liter.
These resulted in total adjustments this year to stand at a net increase of P3.10 per liter for gasoline and P0.80 per liter for kerosene, and a net decrease of P0.20 per liter for diesel.