Despite the official announcement by the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Regional Statistical Services Office V last Thursday, February 8, affirming a decrease in Bicol Region’s overall inflation to 3.1 percent this January, many Bicolanos remain unconvinced, asserting that they have not witnessed a corresponding drop in living costs.
When asked about changes in living expenses, a common sentiment among the locals was that they hadn’t noticed any substantial relief.
“Now that you’ve mentioned it, we did somehow felt a sort of decrease in living expenses, particularly when it comes to our recent electric bill. However, this decrease was only evident in that aspect, as prices for various other essential commodities, in fact, continuously surged bit by bit,” Domingo Pasano, Barangay Captain of Barangay Baño, Legazpi, stated,
Roldan Arena, a 41-year-old rice vendor, backed that of Pasano’s statement, noting that as a rice vendor such as himself, he’s able to actively track the inflation rate by closely monitoring the prices of essential commodities, particularly rice. He then emphasized that from where he’s standing, there hasn’t been any decline of the sort in the past few months.
While the release disclosed a decrease in food inflation to 5.8 percent in January this year from 8.4 percent in the previous month, many residents dispute this claim.
“Rice, meat, vegetables—prices of these essentials just seems to continously increase, making it hard to believe that there was this supposed drop in the inflation rate,” April Llasos, a 39-year-old market-goer, asserted.
This concerning contrast between statistical reports and the everyday experiences of the locals underscores a growing sense of uncertainty about the actual on-the-record impacts of the reported inflation decrease on the lives of Bicolanos. I Kian Kirby Florano