Don’t stop goods from going in: Joey Salceda seeks help in bringing down Bicol inflation rate

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By Billy Begas

House Committee on Ways and Means chairperson and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda on Tuesday sought the help of the government to lower the inflation rate in the Bicol region.

Bicol recorded the highest inflation rate outside of the National Capital Region.

Although the inflation rate has decelerated from 7.5% in May to 6.3% in June, Salceda said “this remains far too high for our constituents.”

Salceda appealed to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure that there are no unnecessary hindrances to the free flow of goods to Bicol.

“We also appeal to the DILG and the NTF to rationalize policies on transport, particularly on tricycles, which is a key mode of travel in Bicol, and a key driver of inflation,” Salceda said.

He also underscored the need to ensure that there is adequate food supply, especially during the rainy season, which may affect food production.

Salceda said slowdown in inflation rate in the country is a positive development but there are still key issues that the government should address.

He explained that the 4.1% inflation rate in June was slightly above the 2-4% target band of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. It will narrow options in interest rate adjustments.

Although the inflation in meat decreases to 17.2% from 22.3%, Salceda said “this is still above what many poor families can afford.”

The increase in the prices of corn will also have an impact on the prices of meat since it is a key ingredient of livestock feeds, he said.