Survey: Nearly all Filipinos say commodity prices have gone up

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Ninety-eight percent of Filipinos surveyed by Pulse Asia said that food prices have gone up. (AFP)

PRACTICALLY all Filipinos have reported that costs of commodities they usually buy have gone up, with more than eight in ten saying they were “strongly affected” by these price increases.

These, among others, were the results of Pulse Asia’s March 2018 Ulat ng Bayan survey that was released on Friday.

Ninety-eight percent of 1,200 Filipinos surveyed said that “there are commodities that they usually buy whose prices have gone up since January 2018,” the survey said, with similar figures being reported across different geographic areas and socio-economic classes.

“[A]n overwhelming majority of Filipinos (86%) [reported] being strongly affected by the rise in the prices of basic commodities,” while 13% were somewhat affected and only 1% of were not affected at all, Pulse Asia said.

Of the items whose prices have gone up, Filipinos cited food (which was reported by 98% of participants), particularly rice (81%), non-rice items (67%), and sugar sweetened beverages such as juices or soft drinks (56%).

These were followed by electricity (30%), transportation-related items such as fuel (22%) and fares (16%), medicine and other health-related needs (9%), cigarettes (5%), alcoholic drinks (4%), cellphone load (3%), water (2%), and recreation related expenses (1%).

Meanwhile, participants from Mindanao (99%) were the most affected by these increases, followed by Visayas (97%), NCR (92%), and lastly by the rest of Luzon (87%.)

In terms of socio-economic groupings, those from class E (94%) reported price increases the most, just slightly edging out against class D (93%) while class ABC (86%) was the most unaffected.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that overall inflation rose by 4.3% back in March, exceeding the government’s estimated ceiling of 4%. — Dane M. Enerio