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April 24, 2024

DOF clarifies June inflation, says President Marcos was misunderstood

The government maintained Wednesday that the inflation rate for June 2022 reached 6.1 percent and clarified that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was misunderstood during a press conference following the new administration’s first Cabinet meeting.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno clarified that President Marcos was referring to the full-year inflation figure, of which the year-to-date average is currently at 4.4 percent.

Both June 2022 and year-to-date inflation numbers are within the forecast range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), with the BSP’s June forecast being 5.7 to 6.5 percent. The full-year forecast, meanwhile, is at 3.7 to 4.7 percent based on the DBCC’s macroeconomic assumptions as of May 24.

Diokno also said that the President was correct in saying that the current high inflation rate for June is a problem not only in the Philippines but everywhere.

“Among our peers, Indonesia’s overall inflation climbed to 4.4 percent in June from 3.6 percent in May. Meanwhile, Thailand’s inflation rate increased to 7.7 percent in June from 7.1 percent in May. Inflation in the Euro zone, which includes Germany, Italy, Spain, etcetera, stood at 8.6 percent in June, the highest in 11 years. Meanwhile, the United States’ inflation rate in May reached a 40-year high of 8.6 percent,” Diokno said.

The uptick in the June 2022 inflation rate was driven by faster price adjustments in operation of personal transport equipment; electricity, gas, and other fuels; and meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals.

Diokno assured the public that the government is diligently working to maintain price stability.

“Rest assured, the recent acceleration of inflation will be arrested by the government through addressing constraints in the food, energy, and transportation and logistics sectors,” Diokno added.

Among the measures the government is implementing to ease the impact of inflationary pressures on the transport sector is the provision of fuel subsidies worth P6,500 for public utility vehicle operators and drivers.

“Considering that oil prices are expected to remain elevated in the near term, the government will expedite the release of the second tranche of subsidies for the transport sector,” Diokno said.