FOR the whole year of 2018, Northern Mindanao’s inflation rate was recorded at 5.3 percent, as prices of basic of commodities continue to increase, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) reported.
For the fourth quarter of 2018, Neda recorded the inflation rate of the region to 6.7 percent.
According to Neda-Northern Mindanao, the above mentioned inflation rates are above the upper band target of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) of 4.0 percent.
Among the provinces in the region, Lanao del Norte recorded the highest inflation rate at 7 percent in 2018, followed by Bukidnon and Camiguin which had the same inflation rates of 5.4 percent.
Commodity groups such as food and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, transport, and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services posted higher than average inflation rates.
Upward price pressures were recorded from fuel, rice, and meat commodities, however, Neda said that these has softened in the last quarter of 2018.
Neda-Northern Mindanao Director Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, on the other hand, said that the “price levels are expected to normalize in the coming months and settle back to the government’s target of 3.0 to 4.0 percent in 2019,” as the region’s inflation rate slid further to 4.3 percent in February 2019.
The regional director added that the government will continue to implement anti-inflationary measures, particularly the prices of basic agricultural commodities such as rice and meat products which buoyed overall inflation in the past.
Rice inflation significantly moderated from 10.1 percent in October 2018 to 0.7 percent in February 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The signing of the Rice Tariffication Act will also bring down rice prices and cut inflation by 0.5 to 0.7 percentage point this year.
Under the Rice Tariffication Act, quantitative restrictions on rice importation are lifted and private traders are allowed to import the commodity from countries of their choice.
The implementing rules and regulations of said law is set to be issued by the end of March 2019, according to Cariño.