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Marcos expects lowering of inflation rate after drop in prices of fuel, agri products

The inflation rate is expected to go down after the expected lowering of prices of fuel and agricultural products, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Tuesday.

Marcos lamented that the inflation rate has continued to increase, adding that the efforts implemented by his administration "have not yet gone through the system."

According to the President, the inflation rate is expected to go down by the second quarter of 2023.

"It is unfortunate that we get the news today that inflation has continued to increase up to 8.7%. I supposed it can only be said that the measures that we have taken have not yet gone through the system," Marcos said in a statement.

"As I said, the importation of many of the agricultural products, which have been a large part of the inflation rate... as we have already taken some measures so that the supply will be greater and so that will bring the prices down but that will take a little time. And as my continuing estimate or forecast is that by – we can see the lowering of inflation by the second quarter of this year," he added.

The Chief Executive said that with the dip in the prices of fuel and agricultural products, the inflation rate will continue to slide down as he sincerely believes that "this is going to be as high as it's going to get."

In a television interview, Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros urged Marcos and his economic team to "take the bull by the horns," as the current measures to reduce inflation do not seem to be working.

"Obviously they're not doing enough. Even this 8.7% rate, even the President cannot debate with it. Kasi PSA na mismo ang nag-uulat (The report came from the PSA itself). So [the] government really needs to take the bull by the horns. The President has to, his economic management team has to," she said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the inflation rate in January 2023 was the highest since the 9.1% recorded in November 2008.

The PSA said electricity and vegetables, particularly onions, were the top contributors to January inflation, each accounting for 1.1 percentage points (ppt).

In January, Marcos underscored the need to improve production, especially on agricultural products, to help lower the inflation rate.

The President also attributed the high inflation rate to too much importation.  — with Hana Bordey/RSJ/VBL, GMA Integrated News