MANILA—Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said the increase in the country’s inflation rate to 2.5% in October from 2.3% in the previous month is still within the lower end of the government’s target of 2-4% for the year. 

“With the supply issues on fish and pork products, continued pressure in production costs led to the slight increase in inflation. We will continue to monitor prices of basic goods to ensure that there would be no additional burden to our fellow Filipinos, especially with the coming Christmas season,” the trade chief said. 

The Philippine Statistics Authority listed price increases in food, non-alcoholic beverages, and education as the main contributors to inflation’s latest status. 

“With the present typhoon season, disruptions caused by these extreme weather conditions pose risks, particularly to our food price stability and food security,” Sec. Lopez explained. 

He added: “However, we will continue working with the Department of Agriculture to ensure that both our consumers and producers are looked after.” 

The Trade Secretary confirmed the continuous effectivity of price freeze in areas declared under a state of calamity after they were devastated by Typhoon Quinta during the last week of October. These include Albay, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, and Cavite. Price freeze is also automatically implemented in provinces that declared a state of calamity after being hit by Super Typhoon Rolly. 

“As for areas not under the state-of-calamity, they are still being monitored in accordance with the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) scheme,” Sec. Lopez explained. 

The Department is scheduled to release an updated SRP scheme this month. The Trade Secretary earlier reassured the public that there would be no price hike for several Noche Buena products after working closely with major brands. 

“Many major brands have heeded to our call to keep prices stable in view of the pandemic and the hardships of our fellow Filipinos. We continue to expect more brands to join in this bayanihan effort,” the trade chief said. ♦

Date of Release: 9 November 2020