MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte gave his assurances that his government is trying to tame soaring inflation.
“I’m not apologizing. There is really inflation in the Philippines and we’re trying to control it,” he told Filipinos in Jordan on Friday, September 7.
Earlier that day, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the 9-year-high August inflation was “nothing to worry about” despite many Filipinos, especially poor households, bearing the brunt of soaring prices for essential goods like rice and vegetables.
He also said he would leave solutions to rising inflation to his economic managers, saying they are “brighter” than him.
Duterte then blamed United States President Donald Trump’s trade war with China as a contributing factor to the inflation back home.
“Inflation is – dahil ‘yan kay Trump. When Trump raised yung tariff and banned other items,” he said. (Inflation is because of Trump, when Trump raised tariffs and banned other items.)
In the escalating trade war, the US has imposed taxes products coming from China, while China has done the same to US goods. This would have some effect on the Philippines when it comes to importing US goods made of materials from China.
But economists and observers believe the rising inflation in the Philippines is largely due to other factors. An explainer on Rappler says that inflation has largely been because of rising oil prices, the weakening of the peso against the US dollar, and expectations of people about inflation.
On Thursday, September 6, the Philippine peso reached a 13-year low when its value against the dollar got to P53.8 to $1. – Rappler.com