Marcos says inflation ‘moving in right direction’

July 24, 2023 - 5:10 PM
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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gestures as he delivers his first State of the Nation Address, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 25, 2022. (Aaron Favila/Pool via Reuters/File Photo)

 Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr touted his administration’s successes over the past year including battling inflation and steering the economy back on track, but said a number of economic challenges lie ahead.

After more than a year in office, buffeted by soaring inflation that has dented economic growth, the government is now “stabilizing the prices of all critical commodities”, Marcos said.

“Inflation rate is moving in the right direction,” he said in his second state of the nation address.

“There are many things over which we have no control. But over those where we do have control, we are doing everything we can.”

To help keep consumer prices in check, Marcos said the government aims to increase local food production by implementing among others, a “timely and calibrated importation”.

Developing the long-neglected farm sector, which contributes to 10% of the country’s economic output, is a priority of Marcos’, who also helms the agriculture ministry.

Negative sentiment against Marcos rose in his first year in office after inflation surged to levels not seen in 14 years, prompting the Philippine central bank to embark on its most aggressive monetary tightening cycle in years.

The Philippines remains vulnerable to global price shocks because it buys a sizeable portion of its rice overseas, and relies on imports for most of its fuel requirements.

—Reporting by Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor