The Philippine Statistics Authority-Cordillera said the region has posted a 3.9 percent inflation rate, lower than the national average of 5.3 percent and National Capital Region’s 5.9 percent.
PSA Regional Director Villafe Alibuyog said during the regional monthly dissemination forum that food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed 82.2 percent to the region’s rate of inflation, which is the increase in prices over a given period.
Alibuyog also said the purchasing power of the peso (PPP) in the region is 83. Baguio City has the highest PPP at 85; Abra at 83; Apayao and Benguet at 82; Ifugao and Kalinga at 81 and Mountain Province at 80.
She said food and non-alcoholic beverages, education, restaurants, and accommodation have the fastest pace of increase in prices while prices remained constant in information and communication technology, financial services, furniture, household equipment, and routine household maintenance.
“Food and non-alcoholic beverage have a big chunk in the inflation because people spend money on them. Especially the lower income group, at least 60 percent of their income was spent on food,” said Aldrin Bahit, chief statistical specialist of PSA-CAR.
He said the lower inflation rate in the region means people can purchase more for themselves and their families compared to those in Metro Manila.
“Parents will not have the difficulty to prepare the basic needs of their children before they go to school. They can see to it that their children are fed before they face the day’s tasks in school and their other needs are met because the cost of food here is lower,” Dr. Mary Jane Olaes-Najarilla, professor at Saint Louis University’s Department of Political Science, said during the forum.
Najarilla urged the public to “only buy things that matter, things that you can control or those that you should focus on.”
She said in the stereotype setup of families where the father is the only one who works and provides for the needs of the family, the mother and other members can contribute through small livelihood activities that will allow income to enter the family’s coffers.
She added there are government agencies that can help equip other family members with skills to become income earners through a job or livelihood activity. – PNA