On the Recent Price Hikes

The Center for Womenโ€™s Resources (CWR) raises alarm on the rising prices of commodities, signifying additional burden for Filipinos who are struggling everyday to survive amid joblessness and rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

The countryโ€™s inflation rate has almost doubled since the onset of the pandemic, from 2.5% in March 2020 to 4.9% in August 2020, its highest since the 5.1% inflation rate in December 2018.
Prices of basic commodities have increased during the pandemic. Rice prices rose to at least Php 3.00 per kilo, belying the claims of the proponents of the Rice Liberalization Law that it will significantly lower the domestic price of rice. On the other hand, poultry products such as beef and pork rose to as high as 50% during the pandemic.

Vegetables, fruits, and other basic commodities are also increasing. In addition, the Department of Trade and Industry has approved a 3-5% price hike resulting in an increase of as high as Php 2.25 for basic commodities such as milk, noodles, sardines, and canned meat.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is at Php 607.00 for every 11-kilo container in April 2020 to Php 891.00 in August 2021. Oil prices have also increased at least Php 7.00-12.00 in the last year and a half.

Tess Arboleda, an urban poor community leader from Quezon City, laments the detrimental impacts of rising prices of basic needs.

โ€œSa patuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin pinapatay kaming mga mahihirap. Sa pananatiling walang pakialam ang gobyerno sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin ay patunay lang na walang halaga at kawalan ng malasakit sa aming mga mahihirap na lalo pang nilulugmok sa kahirapan,โ€ she said.
Meanwhile, minimum daily wage in the National Capital Region, the highest in the country, has been nailed at Php 537 in the last three years. The last wage hike is a meager Php 25 in November 2018. The current minimum wage will barely allow a family to survive amid rising prices of commodities, additional expenses for transport, education, and health needs especially in the pandemic. IBON Foundation computed the family living wage at Php 1065 per day in July 2021. Mothers are also concerned about the opening of classes for the coming school year, saying that they would have to find means to support expenses for their childrenโ€™s online classes.

โ€œSa haba ng pandemya at lockdown dito, lockdown doon, hindi na natapos, maraming di- tiyak ang trabaho ng mga asawa. Kulang pa ang kikitain sa pang-araw-araw na gastos. Tapos sa pagbubukas ng klase kung online na naman, saan uli kukunin yung mga dagdag na gastusin sa pag-aaral ng mga anak,โ€ says Liza Maynigo from Marikina City.

Moreover, the unemployment rate hit an all-time high of 17.7% during the first month of lockdown in April 2021. In addition, CWR initially estimated that in 2020, at least 19.54 million women are economically insecure. In situations like these, women, especially mothers, are forced to seek alternative sources of income to augment family income.

โ€œDespite the worsening economic crisis, the current administration would rather bury itself in ensuring profits for questionable foreign businesses, taunting critics, and implementing roulette-like lockdown classifications to supposedly respond to the COVID-19 while more and more Filipinos are neck-deep in hunger and poverty,โ€ says Cham Perez, CWR Executive Director
We reiterate our demand to the government to immediately provide economic relief for those who have lost their jobs and livelihood during the pandemic, and ensure regulation of prices of basic commodities in addition to mass testing, proper contact tracing and increasing vaccination rates to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. #

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap