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COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has seen a drop in its inflation rate from 7.8% to 6.7% in April, a development hailed by the region’s officials.
BARMM ranked sixth among the country’s 16 regions for April 2023 inflation rate, and fifth among regions outside the National Capital Region (NCR), data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed on Wednesday, May 10.
PSA-BARMM Director Akan Tula said the deceleration of the inflation rate in the Bangsamoro region was an indicator of the region’s stable economy.
Tula attributed the drop in inflation rate to reduced costs of food, non-alcoholic beverages, transport, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels.
The provinces of Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, and Lanao del Sur had the lowest inflation rates at 6.1% (for the two Maguindanao territories) and 5.4%, respectively.
In Cotabato City, the regional center of BARMM, the inflation rate decreased to 4.9% from the previous month’s 5.5%.
Of its provinces, Tawi-Tawi registered the highest inflation rate at 10.8%, followed by Basilan at 9.4%, and Sulu at 6.6%.
The country’s overall inflation rate decreased to 6.6% in April from 7.6% in March.
BARMM interim Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim cited the special region’s progress and economic potential during a gathering at the Iranun Corridor event in Matanog town, Maguindanao del Norte.
The event was for the predominantly Iranun towns of Matanog, Parang, Barira, Buldon, and Sultan Mastura.
Matanog’s neighboring town of Parang is where the regional government plans to build the Bangsamoro Government Complex and an economic zone.
They said Parang has been envisaged to connect BARMM to nearby Southeast Asian countries through the Polloc International port.
Officials said the development of Parang town would also facilitate roll-on and roll-off vessel trips through its port connecting to island provinces.
Ebrahim and other BARMM officials said the PSA data showed that the region’s economy was stable.
“With our cooperation, surely, we are making our region’s economy on the top, and we have seen it lately from the statistics,” Ebrahim said.
He said the region’s officials and constituents need to move forward and unite for economic progress, peace, security, and environmental protection. – Rappler.com
Ferdinandh Cabrera is an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow.