Northern Mindanao inflation doubles prior to Train law effectivity

INFLATION in Northern Mindanao more than doubled to 3.3 percent in 2017 from 1.4 percent in 2016, even before the tax reform package could take effect.

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-Northern Mindanao reported an inflation rate of 3.9 percent in the last quarter of 2017, the highest in the last three quarters, following price increases in most commodity baskets.

Neda said price increases in alcoholic beverages and tobacco; clothing and footwear; recreation and culture; health; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; and in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels pushed up the overall inflation.

Among the provinces in the region, Camiguin recorded the highest inflation rate of 4.5 percent in 2017, more than four times the 2016 rate of 0.2 percent.

This was followed by the province of Lanao del Norte with an average inflation rate of 4.4 percent; Misamis Occidental, 3.7 percent; Misamis Oriental, 3.3 percent; and Bukidnon, 2.8 percent.

Clark Cañete, Neda-Northern Mindanao chief regional economic specialist, said the regional inflation rate is "still a very manageable inflation rate" and is within government targets.

"Considering our target is in the range of 2 to 4 percent," Cañete said, adding that in the past years, the annual inflation rate of Northern Mindanao has gone up to 10 percent or more.

Cañete asked the public not to look only at one side of the situation, saying that even though the prices of the commodities are rising, it is still within a manageable rate.

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law has not been implemented when the surge in inflation rate was reported in 2017 as the Train Law took effect on January 1, 2018.