Marcos disagrees with inflation rate that PSA reported

·2 min read
Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. waves to supporters on May 07, 2022 in Parañaque, Metro Manila, Philippines. Marcos disagreed with the Philippine Statistics Authority's report about the country's headline inflation hitting 6.1% in June 2022. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. disagreed on Tuesday (July 5) with the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) headline inflation of 6.1 percent.

In simple terms, inflation is the general increase of prices of goods in the market.

“6.1%? I will have to disagree with that number, we are not that high,” he said. “Unfortunately it looks like we may cross that threshold, tatawid tayo sa (we will come across) 4%. We have to think about interest rate levels. But there's a conflicting force in [foreign] exchange rate levels.”

Marcos added, “The forces that have pushed commodity prices up are beyond our control. Much of our inflation is imported; it's inflation on products that have suffered inflation that we import. Sumama inflation nila sa atin (Their inflation accompanied ours).”

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Felipe Medalla said on June 29 that they were eyeing on higher interest rates, just after his predecessor Benjamin Diokno signalled a “modest” 25 point increase which took effect just five days before.

"If we see that the exchange rate is overshooting too much and that selling forex will not make the problem go away we would consider maybe increasing policy rates more than our planned 25 basis points hike,” Medalla said.

Independent think-tank IBON Foundation’s executive director Sonny Africa commented on Marcos Jr.’s inflation remark, calling him a “bolero” (sweet talker). This comes after PSA’s National Statistician Dennis Mapa stood by the agency’s report on inflation.

“Disagreed with 6.1% inflation data but didn't say why. Pretended to talk about interest & exchange rates but rambling,” Africa said. “How his admin will deal with bad news – cavalierly dismiss them, even if from credible sources, or obfuscate with gobbledygook?”

Economist Emmanuel Leyco also commented on Marcos’s remark, and affirmed that PSA was “the most authoritative source” with regards to inflation rate, and that there was no reason not to believe in them.

Marcos was ridiculed in 2021 for initially failing economics and politics, according to a June 1976 letter between Pablo Arque and the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. He eventually passed in economics, however, but continued to fail in politics according to another letter between the two in October 1976.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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