Checking Marcos’ SONA on inflation: Are prices of goods really low now?

July 24, 2023 - 8:17 PM
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gestures as he delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), at the House of Representative in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 24, 2023. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. claimed in his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 24 that the prices of commodities in the market have significantly reduced.

“Sa mga nakalipas na buwan, nakita natin ang pagbaba ng presyo ng bilihin sa iba’t ibang mga sektor. Napatunayan natin na kayang maipa-baba ang presyo ng bigas, karne, isda, gulay, at asukal,” he said.

Marcos then attributed this claim to the Kadiwa program, an initiative of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to help cushion the impact of inflation on low-income communities.

The chief executive is also the head of the department.

So far, around 7,000 Kadiwa stores have opened in different provinces across the Philippines, he reported.

These stores have served the needs of at least 1.8 million families, he said.

“Malaking tulong ang mga KADIWA stores, na ating muling binuhay at inilunsad. Ang layunin ng KADIWA ay pag-ugnayin ang magsasaka at ang mamimili. Walang iba pang namamagitan. Walang dagdag na gastos at patong. Maganda ang kita ng magsasaka. Nakaka-tipid din ang ma-mimili,” he said.

Local social media, however, challenged Marcos’ statements on the prices of goods in the market.

Some Filipinos said in jest that the president might not be living in the same country or universe as them, pointing out that outside KADIWA stores, prices have bloated over the past year.

“May nakikita ka ata na hindi nakikita ng mga Pilipino. Nasaang bansa ka ba? Charot!” Twitter account and occasional government critic @IamCharotism quipped.

“Beh, saang bansa ka nakatira at bumababa diyan yung bilihin? Kaka travel mo yan,” another Twitter user jokingly asked.

“Maybe the multiverse IS real because there’s no way we’re sharing the same universe right now,” a Filipino also reacted on Twitter.

Other Filipinos also expressed frustration and ire over Marcos’ take on the current economic situation.

“If ever you feel like you’re being too delusional, never forget the Marcoses exist,” a Twitter user said.

“Taray, imahinasyon lang pala namin ang inflation,” drag queen Myx Channel said on the platform.

“This is a huge insult to Filipino citizens who are suffering from unemployment, financial crisis, extreme poverty, and rising commodity prices,” a Filipino expressed on Twitter.

READ: Marcos says inflation ‘moving in right direction’

Several Filipinos, meanwhile, mentioned how much money they have to spend on their daily needs.

Other Twitter users also urged Marcos to visit and go shopping in local stores to see how high the cost of living has gone.

The latest survey from the Social Weather Station (SWS) also showed that nearly half of Filipino families or 12.5 million households considered themselves poor.

This poll was conducted from June 28 to July 1.

Based on this survey, self-rated Filipino families also considered P15,000 as the minimum monthly budget they should have to not be considered poor.

READ: SWS: 45% of Filipino families consider themselves poor, fewer than in March