Russian invasion and typhoons push inflation to 7.7% in October — BenarNews



Inflation in the Philippines hit 7.7% in October, the highest monthly rate in nearly 14 years, with the ripple effects of war in Ukraine, COVID shutdowns in China and typhoons pushing prices up. prices of food and raw materials, the government reported on Friday.

The year-on-year increase, the largest since December 2008, was largely driven by higher prices for major commodity groups, mainly food and non-alcoholic beverages, the official said. National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in a statement.

“The price spike resulted from external price pressures, such as the Russia-Ukraine war and lockdowns imposed in parts of China, which disrupted global supply chains,” he said, adding that this had been exacerbated by “the lingering aftermath of recent typhoons”.

The October figure was “significantly higher” than the 6.9% recorded the previous month, although it was within the central bank’s projection range of 7.1% to 7.9%, it said. he declared.

Socio-economic planning secretary Arsenio Balisacan said given the damage caused by recent typhoons, immediate assistance needed to be extended to affected communities and sectors.

He said cash assistance as well as fuel subsidies to affected communities would continue to help “mitigate the effects of sustained increases in commodity prices due to global headwinds as well as recent typhoons that have damaged our national production and disrupted the food supply”.

The most recent weather disturbance to hit the Philippines, Typhoon Nalgae, dumped heavy rains across much of the country in late October, affecting an estimated 3.9 million people, many of whom remain stuck in evacuation centers.

A photograph taken from a Philippine Air Force helicopter on October 29, 2022 shows farmland flooded by Typhoon Nalgae in Maguindanao, southern Philippines. [Mark Navales/BenarNews]

The hardest hit was the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which recorded 63 of the 150 storm-related deaths. Nationally, the government estimated the combined damage to infrastructure and agriculture at 5.27 billion pesos ($90.2 million).

Edoardo Baluma, 46, a market gardener in the town of Pigcawayan, North Cotabato province, told BenarNews he was supposed to harvest his eggplants and tomatoes this month, but the typhoon destroyed everything.

“My crop proceeds were supposed to buy new plants and pay for my fertilizer. I only get a small income from these damaged crops,” he said.

Baluma owns a 7.5 acre farm which he inherited from his parents and quit his job at a car dealership to farm the land.

“Now I no longer have the capital to use. The government says it will allow us to borrow money, but where am I going to get payment? he said, adding that agricultural costs, including for fertilizers, will certainly increase.

Ongoing grant

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led the continued distribution of emergency grants to help those affected by the typhoons. This week he placed BARMM along with two other regions in a state of calamity for six months, ensuring they get emergency funding.

The funds would help “the most vulnerable sectors in the form of distributing cash transfers and fuel rebates to help cushion the impact of rising inflation,” spokeswoman Cheloy Garafil said. to journalists.

“We assure the public that the government continues to monitor inflation and all contributing factors, and will explore all other measures to mitigate its impact on our people,” she said.

Jeoffrey Maitem from Cotabato, Philippines contributed to this report.

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