‘KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES’: PSA-6 urges wise spending as regional inflation rises

A shopper checks some items at a grocery store in Iloilo City. (Francis Allan L. Angelo photo)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The Philippine Statistics Authority Regional Statistical Services Office (PSA RSSO) 6 has advised consumers to be mindful of their spending and budget wisely as the region’s headline inflation rate increased to 4.3 percent in May 2024, up from 4.1 percent in April.

“Know your priorities and plan your expenditures carefully,” said Statistical Specialist II Miguel S. Gallego during the monthly inflation press conference on Friday, June 14.

The regional average inflation rate from January to May 2024 stands at 3.2 percent.

Although this marks an increase from the previous month, it is significantly lower than the 7.1 percent inflation rate recorded in the same period last year.

PSA 6 attributed the uptrend to a slower decline in costs of certain indices, including Housing, Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels, which saw a -0.3 percent decrease in May compared to -2.2 percent in April.

Transport inflation rose to 3.8 percent in May from 3.1 percent in the previous month. Additionally, higher inflation was noted in Clothing and Footwear at 3.1 percent and Restaurants and Accommodation Services at 5.5 percent.

Conversely, some commodity groups experienced lower inflation rates in May, including Food and non-alcoholic beverages, which dropped to 7.0 percent from 7.3 percent in April.

Other declines were seen in Alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 3.7 percent, down from 4.8 percent; Furnishings, household equipment, and routine household maintenance at 2.3 percent, down from 2.8 percent; Health at 2.6 percent, down from 2.9 percent; Recreation, sport, and culture at 3.8 percent, down from 4.3 percent; and Personal care and miscellaneous goods and services at 2.9 percent, down from 3.1 percent.

The top contributors to the latest headline inflation were Food and non-alcoholic beverages, accounting for 69.0 percent or 2.97 percentage points, Restaurants and accommodation services with 7.9 percent or 0.34 percentage points, and Transport with 7.7 percent or 0.33 percentage points.

Joylyn, a fish vendor and mother of three, shared her struggles in an interview with Daily Guardian.

“It’s really hard to budget, especially for someone like me who sells fish door-to-door. I only make a few sales a day and my profit margins are small. With the high prices of goods now, even the P15 fare for a one-way trip becomes P30 if you have to make a return trip when buying groceries,” she said.

To save money, Joylyn makes sure to go to the market only once a week, aware that retail store prices are significantly higher.

“But sometimes it’s unavoidable to go back and forth because with a small budget, you can’t buy a lot at once. It’s even more challenging now with the rainy season,” she further noted.