Colmenares to gov’t: 4.4 percent inflation rate still high
ROXAS CITY, Philippines – Bayan Muna chairperson Neri Colmenares reminded government that the 4.4 percent inflation recorded in January 2019 is not something to crow about, especially on a year-on-year basis.
Colmenares noted in a statement issued Tuesday that the high inflation rates recorded in 2018 — which peaked to 6.7 percent in September — started at 4 percent rate.
“In January 2018, inflation rate in the country was at 4% and look what happened after that, prices of commodities continued to increase up to the last quarter of the year,” the former lawmaker said.
Colmenares said that it is possible that higher prices would again burden consumers because of the higher inflation rate in January 2019 compared to January 2018.
He also factored in the perceived effects of the second tranche of excise taxes on oil products, as mandated by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
“If we are to follow the pattern of last year’s inflation movement, then we are going to have higher price shocks this year because the 4.4% inflation rate now is definitely higher than the 4% in January last year and the second tranche of the TRAIN law would give it a stronger boost,” Colmenares added
Critics of the administration have blamed the TRAIN law for the surge in the cost of goods and transportation.
The country’s economic managers, however, claimed that the TRAIN law only accounted for a small percentage to the inflation rate. /gsg
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