Inflation in Western Visayas Climbs to 3.1% in March

Iloilo, Philippines — The inflation rate in Western Visayas increased to 3.1 percent in March, up from 2.7 percent in February and 2 percent in January, prompting calls for consumer caution on spending.

According to Philippines News Agency, Chief Statistical Specialist at the Philippine Statistics Authority-Western Visayas, the rise in inflation was primarily driven by higher prices in the food and non-alcoholic beverages sector, which saw a rate increase to 5.5 percent. This sector contributed 59.3 percent to the overall inflation uptrend. Amolar detailed that significant price hikes were observed in cereals and cereal products, meat, and other parts of slaughtered land animals, while vegetable prices declined less steeply than before.

Further analysis revealed that a drop in livestock production also influenced the inflation figures, with production decreasing from 52,000 units in the previous year to 33,000 units in the third quarter of 2023. "The law of supply and demand. When the production, the supply is low, then the demand will pull the price, so it will be expensive," Amolar explained.

Additional factors contributing to the 3.1 percent inflation included a 4.8 percent rise in costs for restaurants and accommodations, and a 2.4 percent increase in transportation prices. Despite these increases, Amolar noted that Western Visayas still ranks as the third lowest in terms of inflation among all regions.

The regional inflation rate remains considerably lower compared to the same month last year when it stood at 9.3 percent, suggesting an improvement in the purchasing power of the peso compared to the previous year.