PSA: Don’t just fall for TikTok clips tackling inflation rate

PSA: Don’t just fall for TikTok clips tackling inflation rate

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday urged the public to “thoroughly” study the country’s inflation problem amid the emergence of videos produced by TikTok content creators telling people that painfully high prices have started to ease.

At a press conference during Thursday’s release of the inflation data for September, National Statistician Dennis Mapa said the public could go to the PSA’s website if they have questions about inflation, particularly the factors that affect consumer prices.

“The issue of inflation is an important topic and it should be studied thoroughly,” Mapa pointed out.


“The PSA is urging the public to study our reports on the country’s inflation. You can start by visiting the Frequently Asked Questions posted on our website,” he added.


Mapa was responding to a question about the proliferation of TikTok videos that talk about the country’s inflation issue, which has become a big headache for the Marcos administration as it fueled public dissatisfaction over its performance in taming high prices.

In a statement on Thursday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said the government remained committed to addressing the challenges posed by the 6.1-percent inflation for September.

According to the PCO, the administration has initiated a series of measures, including a digital food stamp program, fuel subsidies, and targeted assistance for farmers that extend beyond the short term.

It noted that the President’s order for local governments to suspend the collection of so-called pass-through fees on national roads would reduce the cost of agricultural products, which triggered the higher food inflation in the country.

Same script

Over the past few weeks, several TikTok users and content creators have been flagged by concerned netizens for supposedly mouthing paid government propaganda in the guise of explaining inflation and related government policies.

The TikTok posts appeared to have the same structure, graphics and hashtags—like #UmaarangkadangPilipinas, #BagongPilipinas and #IbaNaAngPilipinas.


TikTok user geelumamba, for example, posted content in August saying inflation has been on the decline for six consecutive months. It also gave a definition of inflation and tips on how to cope with it.

The user, who has 2.6 million followers, used a July 2023 infographic chart from the PSA and a video saying that the value of the Philippine peso grows as inflation rises. The video currently has 114,000 views and 1,230 likes.

Another user, cjaybabista02, who has 591,000 followers, posted content with the same script. The video has earned 73,200 views and 1,909 likes as of Thursday.

In a now-deleted post, TikTok user Kim_twins03 advised consumers to make more purchases since inflation has been declining. The user has 512,000 followers.

Still above-target

While inflation indeed eased for the sixth straight month in July, the online videos did not mention that the figure was still above the level that the government deemed manageable.

The same PSA data that the TikTok videos used showed inflation in July settled at 4.7 percent, marking the 16th straight month that price growth hovered above the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 2-4 percent target range.

Two months later, the PSA reported that annual inflation surged to a four-month high of 6.1 percent in September, with rice posting its fastest price growth since March 2009 despite the price ceiling imposed by the Marcos administration on the key food item. September was the second straight month that inflation quickened, with prices likely to jump higher in the coming months due to seasonal surge in demand during the holiday season.

In the first nine months of 2023, inflation averaged 6.6 percent, breaching the government’s 2-4 percent annual target.

Private analysts are divided about whether the high inflation in September would prompt an increase in the BSP’s policy rate, a benchmark that guides lenders in setting their loan rates.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The BSP tries to bring down inflation by raising the policy rate. When the cost of borrowing follows upward, the amount of money circulating in the economy decreases. In turn, less money in circulation can lead to lower prices.

TAGS: Inflation, problem, TikTok

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.