THE General Alliance of Workers Association (GAWA) is seeing a “bleak” outlook for 2023 due to the country’s high inflation rate in the country.

GAWA secretary-general Wennie Sancho said the result of high inflation is the unprecedented increase in the general prices of goods and services followed by the deterioration of the workers’ purchasing power.

The economy barely recovered from the pandemic and the last quarter of the year was met with a “great bang” by skyrocketing inflation of eight percent and because of these, he could see a slow economic growth in 2023.

Sancho also warned that the country is at the point of an economic stagnation as consumer confidence continues to drop.

He said wages fail to keep pace with the inflation and it is causing a strain on households.

The country’s food security is also in danger and the government’s policy of “import liberalization scheme” is negatively impacting locally produced products, as well as workers in the agricultural sector.

Sancho said 2023 and beyond will be a challenge and will test every Filipino worker’s resiliency, and despite the negative outlook they have, they are still hoping that the issues will be rectified by the government.

“In general, while there are less workers really seeing their quality of life improving, they are still hoping against hope that they shall survive as they had survived in the past,” he added.

In a related development, acting Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said the government should review if there is a need to import onions amid their surging price at P550 to P600 per kilo.

“That is an important ingredient for cooking,” he said.

Concerned government agencies should act if there is a shortage of supply of onions and should strictly monitor possible smuggling, he added.*