An elevated inflation, the need to arrest unemployment, and the challenge to achieve economic growth amid the pandemic are the “all-important” concerns for the first one hundred days of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., a House leader said Saturday.
These, according to Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, are exacerbated by the country’s international debt that has ballooned to P12 trillion, giving the next administration tight room for borrowing.
“The most immediate problem is inflation that continues to go up. This is a global phenomenon that resulted from the war in Ukraine.
Inflation has resulted in high prices. The situation was exacerbated by the global logistical imbalance due restrictions brought about by COVID-19,” Salceda said.
In a separate statement issued Saturday, Salceda warned that “it is increasingly looking like this decade will be a decade of elevated inflation.”
“That’s not just a local issue. In many ways, the Philippines looks much better than much of the rest of the world. The US, for example, looks like it’s in stagflation. The global inflation rate was 9.2 percent last quarter, while the Philippine rate was just 4.0 percent during the same period.”
“But it’s still going to hurt, because the Salceda:…average inflation over the past ten years is just under 3 percent. The average over this decade is going to be closer to 5 percent or more per year. And, other than doing no more harm, there’s not much we can do about it, since most of the price increases are from external prices such as petroleum prices. Commodities will have high prices over this decade. That’s going to be a global trend,” he added.
Salceda said the next administration should be able to come up with sound policies that will halt the momentum in price increases, create strong and well-paid jobs, and maximize the country’s gross development product growth potential.
Marcos, he said, should take advantage of the highest mandate given him as shown in the last election results to come up with modern policies.
“The next administration should take advantage of its massive political capital, having been elected with the highest mandate since 1961 that it should use to implement laws or enact new ones to ease inflation,” he said.
“Right now, actual agricultural value added is just at $35.6 billion or just 31.5 percent of our viable agricultural potential. And mind you, my estimate is very conservative, using just 80 percent of our agricultural land,” Salceda added.