SPIRALING prices are the top concerns of Filipinos in a June poll by Pulse Asia Research, Inc.

Six of 10 Filipinos or 57% identified inflation as the most urgent national concern that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. should prioritize, Pulse Asia said in a statement on Tuesday.

Filipinos were also worried about their income (46%), poverty (33%) and jobs (29%).

People were less worried about state cash aid amid a coronavirus pandemic, and fighting corruption and hunger, Pulse Asia said.

The pollster interviewed 1,200 adults on June 24 to 27 for the poll, which had an error margin of ±2.8 points.

A recent survey by market research firm Ipsos Group S.A. showed that inflation, which is expected to be the main feature of 2022, is the biggest concern of people around the world.

“On average globally, almost one in four say inflation is a top issue facing their country (37%), up three points from last month,” it said in a report, citing its survey from May 27 to June 6. The concern about inflation had risen for 11 straight months, it added.  

Included in the top five global worries were concerns about poverty and social inequality (31%), unemployment (28%), crime & violence (27%) and financial or political corruption (24%), the research firm said.

Inflation has forced the government to temper its economic growth target this year.

The government is now aiming for growth of 6.5-7.5% this year, slightly lower than the 7-8% target earlier set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), but faster than the 5.7% expansion last year.

The government also seeks to bring down the poverty rate to 9% by the end of Mr. Marcos’ term in 2028.

His predecessor, Rodrigo R. Duterte, had aimed to bring down the poverty rate to 13-15% by 2022, but this was revised to 15-17.5% due to the pandemic. The poverty rate stood at 23.7% at the end of June.

Mr. Marcos, 64, has promised cheaper food, more jobs and better infrastructure, urging overseas workers to come back because a prosperous future supposedly awaits them.

But experts said he would be hunted by the country’s ballooning external debt, which might force him to take a different path.

Mr. Marcos’ Finance chief, Benjamin E. Diokno, has pushed new taxes on digital services and pollutants, but analysts said these might not be enough to bail the country out of its ballooning debt. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza