Controlling inflation – which climbed to a three-year high of 6.1 percent in June – is the top concern of Filipinos now, a survey by Pulse Asia showed.
The survey, conducted from June 24 to 27, showed that 57 percent of respondents want the Marcos administration to adopt measures to control the inflation rate.
“This is the leading first-ranked national concern (29%) and is deemed urgent by small to considerable majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings (62% to 69% and 58% to 62%, respectively), with the rest of Luzon and Class ABC being the exceptions (46% and 48%, respectively),” Pulse Asia said.
Malacañang, for its part, said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is ready to undertake measures that would help curb inflation.
“We actually discussed inflation at the last Cabinet meeting and the president himself reported this, so he is actually ahead of the publication of the survey having anticipated this as a potential problem,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said.
The survey showed the next main issue that Filipinos want to be addressed is the need to increase the pay of workers (45 percent), followed by reducing poverty (33 percent), and creating more jobs (29 percent).
Other issues of concern are as follows: fighting graft and corruption (20 percent), ensuring law enforcement (15 percent), fighting criminality (14 percent), promoting peace in the country (14 percent), providing assistance to those affected by the pandemic (14 percent), addressing the problem of involuntary hunger (12 percent), reducing the amount of taxes paid (9 percent), addressing environmental degradation (7 percent), support for the restoration of small businesses (7 percent), territorial defense (7 percent), and containing the COVID-19 pandemic (7 percent).
The survey, with 1,200 respondents, has a margin of error of 2.8 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
Earlier, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the high inflation in June was not a problem unique to the Philippines because other countries are suffering the same problem.
“Among our peers, Indonesia’s overall inflation climbed to 4.4 percent in June from 3.6 percent in May. Meanwhile, Thailand’s inflation rate increased to 7.7 percent in June from 7.1 percent in May. Inflation in the Euro zone stood at 8.6 percent in June, the highest in 11 years. Meanwhile, the United States’ inflation rate in May reached a 40-year high of 8.6 percent,” Diokno said.
The increase in June was driven by increases in fuel and transport costs as well as higher prices for basic commodities.
Diokno said the government would work to maintain price stability.
Among the measures aimed at easing inflationary pressures are the fuel subsidies for public utility vehicle operators and drivers.
“Considering that oil prices are expected to remain elevated in the near term, the government will expedite the release of the second tranche of subsidies for the transport sector,” Diokno said.