Philippine economy

Inflation top concern of most Filipinos – Pulse Asia

Bea Cupin

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Inflation top concern of most Filipinos – Pulse Asia

People line up to buy NFA rice sold at P25 per kilo during the last day of the Kadiwa ng Pangulo diskwento caravan at the Cebu Provincial Capitol grounds in Cebu City on February 28, 2023. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. launched the Kadiwa stores himself during a visit in Cebu City on February 27.

Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

Inflation has been easing gradually, from a high of 8.7% in January 2023. Yet the prices of goods – of food items, especially – has been core issue under the Marcos presidency.

MANILA, Philippines – One year after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took office, most Filipinos still see “controlling inflation” as their top concern, according to a Pulse Asia survey released to the public on Tuesday, July 11. 

The survey, taken from June 19 to 23, 2023, asked respondents to rank the “most urgent national concerns” and to rate how the Marcos administration has been addressing these issues. 

Some 1,200 adult Filipinos were polled, representing Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. 

News headlines that dominated the period before and during the survey include the appointment of new Cabinet officials, political upheavals in the Marcos-allied House, as well as reported decreases in the inflation rates from April 2023 to May 2023. 

According to the survey, 63% of Filipinos considered controlling the prices of basic commodities as an issue the Marcos administration “must address immediately.”

Approval of how the administration is handling inflation improved from March to June 2023, with less people (from 52% to 37%) saying they disapproved of the administration’s response to inflation.

More people in June 2023, compared to March 2023, said they either approved of, (from 25% to 31%) or were undecided (from 23% to 32%) over, the administration’s response to inflation. 

The price of commodities – food, especially – has been a prickly issue under Marcos, who is concurrently the agriculture secretary. 

Despite the soaring prices of some goods and a handful of controversies in his first year as both chief executive and agriculture chief, Marcos has insisted that he won’t be saying goodbye to the agriculture portfolio any time soon. 

The other top national issues were identified as follows:

  • Increasing the pay of workers (44%) 
  • Creating more jobs (31%)
  • Reducing the poverty of many Filipinos (30%) 
  • Fighting graft and corruption (25%)

Less than a quarter of those surveyed said “enforcing the law on all, whether influential or ordinary people,” “involuntary hunger,” giving assistance to farmers, fighting criminality, and promoting peace in the country were top concerns.

Ten percent or less of respondents listed assistance to small entrepreneurs, reduction of taxes, stopping the destruction of the environment, defending the country’s territorial integrity, terrorism, and the welfare of OFWs, as the most urgent national issues. 

Inflation, or the rate by which the prices of goods increase, slowed down to 5.4% in June 2023, according to government numbers. Inflation has been steadily decreasing since hitting a high of 8.7% in January 2023. 

When Marcos entered office in June 2022, inflation wast at 6.1%. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.