6.4% inflation too low compared to rates during Marcos, Cory, FVR times
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar on Saturday downplayed the 6.4 percent inflation rate recorded in August, as the year-to-date inflation rate is still behind the levels posted in past administrations.
"Maraming hindi nakakaintindi at malinaw naman, na itong 6.4 (rate) ng August or 4.8 inflation from January to August ay wala pa sa kalingkingan doon sa inflation na nangyari noong mga panahon ni Tita Cory [Corazon Aquino], ni Presidente [Ferdinand] Marcos, or even during the time of FVR [Fidel V. Ramos].
Andanar said this during his conversation with Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino on his radio program "Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo" on state-run dzRB.
Lambino affirmed that the average inflation rate in the 1990s was at around 10 percent.
"Tama po iyon, Secretary Martin. In fact, kung titingnan natin iyong historical rate natin, even just recently iyong last decade ng 1990s, ay nasa 10 percent po iyong average inflation rate; so kailangan ho makita talaga ito in the right perspective and the right context," Lambino said.
Inflation settled at 6.4 percent in August, the fastest since it came in at 6.6 percent in March 2009.
It is faster than the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' forecast of 5.9 percent and the Department of Finance's 5.88 percent.
But for Andanar, reports of skyrocketing inflation is painting a wrong picture of a negative economy.
"Marami kasi ang lumalabas sa mga pahayagan, sa media na iyon nga 6.4 percent, tapos iyong epekto na parang 6.4 iyong buong Enero hanggang Agosto. Pero kung talagang iko-compute mo it’s 4.8, if I’m not mistaken, yun po ang exact," Andanar said.
For his part, Lambino said the average inflation for the year so far is at 4.8 percent — still within government's target to keep inflation from 2 to 4 percent.
"Ang problema kasi dito ay nagko-conclude kaagad iyong marami na 6.4, to paint a negative picture, a negative picture ng ekonomiya natin," Andanar said.
On the other hand, Lambino said negative perceptions about high inflation was due to Filipinos living in a low-inflation rate regime.
"Kasi po siguro over the past decade ay talagang galing po tayo sa panahon ng napakababa ng inflation regime and ngayon nararamdaman na po ng mundo, hindi lang po ng Pilipinas na medyo patapos na po iyong panahon na iyon ‘no," added.
"We are really looking at higher inflation rate all over, but, ang kailangan rin ho nating isipin ay ang Pilipinas ay maganda po ang economic growth performance, nagiging malaking problema po ang mataas na inflation kung walang growth.
"Pero ang Pilipinas po ay isa pa rin po sa pinakamataas na growing economy," Lambino said. —Ted Cordero/LBG, GMA News