The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday, May 16, advised consumers in Western Visayas to plan their spending by focusing on the most important expenses.

This after the inflation rate in the region continues to accelerate at 4.1 percent in April from the previous 3.1 percent in March.

PSA Statistical Specialist II Miguel Gallego II urged the public to grow their food in their respective backyard to lessen the expenses.

In his presentation, he said the uptrend of the region’s inflation was due to the higher annual growth in the index of food and non-alcoholic beverage with 7.3 percent, slower decline in the index of housing, electricity, gas, and other fuels at -2.2 percent and the high inflation for transport at 3.1 percent.

Food inflation rose to 7.5 percent from 5.6 percent month-on-month, influenced by the slower decline of prices in the index of vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses food group registering a -1.3 percent inflation, the faster annual growth of fish and other seafood food group at 0.4 percent, and the 16 percent inflation of cereals and cereal products food group.

Gallego said the acceleration in inflation rates is recorded in all highly urbanized cities and provinces, except Guimaras.

The downtrend inflation rate of Guimaras at 6.8 percent in April from 7.2 percent in March remains the highest among provinces in the region. Capiz and Iloilo recorded a 3.9 percent inflation rate, the lowest among provinces.

Inflation refers to the movement of the prices of goods and services. 

Gallego said the inflation of the region, while higher than the 3.8 percent national inflation, is still the second lowest among the regions outside of the National Capital Region, and next Ilocos Region’s 2.4 percent.

“There is a possibility that it will continue to increase because of the effects of the El Niño on our agricultural products. We are waiting for data on palay and livestock production, although our livestock gradually recovers based on our data,” he added.Perla Lena/PNA