Why Mimaropa’s inflation rate remains higher than Philippine average

Ralf Rivas
Food prices are down, but what's causing prices of goods in Mimaropa to remain high?

INFLATION. Prices of goods in the region of Mimaropa remain higher than the national average. Photo from the Department of Tourism

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine inflation slowed down to 1.7% in August 2019, the slowest since October 2016. While it has fallen much to the relief of the government’s economic managers, one particular region seems to not be following the downtrend: Mimaropa.

Mimaropa’s inflation rate in August was at 4.6%. Looking at previous months, the region even experienced upticks. In June, when most regions registered slower inflation, Mimaropa inched up to 5.2%.

Of the provinces in Mimaropa, Palawan registered the highest inflation rate (4.8%), followed by Oriental Mindoro (4.7%), Marinduque (4.6%), Romblon (4.2%), and Occidental Mindoro (3.9%). (READ: FAST FACTS: What you should know about Palawan)

Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, it can be seen that food and non-alcoholic beverages – the index which is weighted the heaviest – is not the culprit behind stubbornly high inflation in the region.

Food inflation is at 1.5%, while rice prices deflated to -1.1%. Only corn (19.6%),  fruits (14.9%), and cocoa (10.6%) registered double-digit growths.

Mimaropa’s high inflation can be attributed mostly to alcohol and tobacco, costs for recreational activities, and transport.

The region, famous for its beaches, had a 24.9% inflation rate for recreational and sporting activities in August.

Alcohol and tobacco, commodities associated with leisure activities, leaped to 28.2%.

Travel by sea or inland waterways was at 21.4%.

Rent in Mimaropa rose by 10.9%.

Rappler also found that medical expenses are quite pricey in the region.

Medical services increased by 15.6%, while hospital expenses grew by 15.4%. Outpatient services was at 14.3%. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.