Food and Transportation Hike Leads PH Inflation to 6.1% in September

By: Sophia Pacheco
October 06, 2023

Inflation takes hold of the nation as another wave of increases prompts increase in the cost of goods. Illustration courtesy of Rappler.

The country’s inflation rate increased from 5.3 percent in August to 6.1 percent in September as a result of rising prices for food and transportation, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Thursday, October 5.

The inflation rate rose for the second month in a row. Higher rice and fuel prices in August put a stop to the Philippines' six consecutive months of decreasing inflation.

“The uptrend in the overall inflation in September 2023 was primarily brought about by the higher year-on-year increase in the heavily weighted food and nonalcoholic beverages at 9.7 percent during the month from 8.1 percent in the previous month," The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a statement.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa cited that food inflation increased to 10 percent nationwide in September from 8.2 percent the month prior. This increase was primarily due to higher inflation for rice, which saw a double-digit inflation rate of 17.9 percent during the month compared to 8.7 percent in August.

Mapa further stated that the majority of the regular-milled and well-milled rice monitored in September did not comply with the price limitations, indicating that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s decision to put price caps on rice did not work to reduce rice inflation, which escalated to a 14-year high of 17.9 percent in September.

Higher fuel prices was another factor contributing to the rise in inflation. The growing transportation costs, which went to 1.2 percent in September from 0.2 percent in August is also a main driver of the inflation balloon.

Currently, Jeepney prices are increasing nationally by P1 as well to assist operators in coping with the high cost of fuel. It will raise the minimum fares for both traditional and modern jeepneys from P12 to P13 and P14 to P15, respectively.

House Representative Joey Salceda, a law-maker and economist, has voiced optimism that the inflation will halt before the year is over.

“It (6.1 percent September inflation) is expected to dissipate in the October figures due to the sharp decline in global oil prices during the end of September and compliance with the rice price ceiling imposed by the President,” Salceda said.

The Asian Development Bank, based in Manila, predicts that inflation will reach an average 6.2 percent in the Philippines in 2023 before falling to 4 percent in 2024.