Pulse Asia: Rising prices worry Filipinos most
According to the September 2018 Ulat ng Bayan, 63 percent of the 1,800 respondents said controlling the rising costs of commodities is their top concern.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

Pulse Asia: Rising prices worry Filipinos most

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - September 27, 2018 - 12:49pm

MANILA, Philippines — A sizeable majority of Filipinos want the current administration to immediately address rising prices of basic goods and services, the latest Pulse Asia survey suggests.

According to the September 2018 Ulat ng Bayan, 63 percent of the 1,800 respondents said controlling the rising costs of commodities is their top concern.

There is a 12-percentage point rise in the proportion of Filipinos who consider inflation an urgent national concern from the June’s 51 percent.

“This is the predominant opinion in all geographic areas (53 percent to 66 percent) and socio-economic classes (52 percent to 65 percent),” the polling firm noted.

It is also the first and second mentioned urgent national concern of Filipinos at 31 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Inflation rose to 6.4 percent in August, the highest level in nine years, as oil and rice prices spiked.

In the first eight months, inflation averaged 4.8 percent—well above the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ 2 to 4 percent target range for the year.

In a briefing at the Palace on Thursday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque assured the public that addressing inflation is the government's "foremost priority."

Salary hike

Improving the pay of workers ranked second on the list of concerns that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte should address immediately.

Half of Filipinos (50 percent) consider it an urgent national concern—a sentiment prevailing in Metro Manila (55 percent), Visayas (59 percent) and Class ABC (52 percent).

Other top concerns

Reducing poverty (32 percent), creating jobs (30 percent), fighting graft and corruption on government (26 percent) and combating criminality (23 percent) were the other issues deemed urgent by Filipinos following inflation and pay hike.

Other concerns listed on the survey were promoting peace (14 percent), protecting the environment (13 percent), reducing the amount of taxes paid by citizens (12 percent), and enforcing the rule of law (11 percent).

Filipinos, however, seemed to be least concerned about the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (6 percent), population growth (6 percent), terrorism (5 percent), national territorial integrity (5 percent) and charter change (3 percent).

Assessment of government response to price increases

The same survey showed that 51 percent of Filipinos have negative assessment of the administration’s handling of the problem of soaring prices of basic commodities.  

Twenty-eight percent and 21 percent of Filipinos disapprove of the work done by the administration on the issues of reducing poverty and increasing the pay of workers, respectively.

Filipinos, on the other hand, are appreciative of the government’s effort to fight criminality (83 percent), protect the welfare of OFWs (75 percent), respond to calamity-stricken areas (74 percent), combat corruption (71 percent), enforce the rule of law (69 percent), promote peace (69 percent), protect the environment (65 percent), defend national territory (56 percent), create more jobs (56 percent) and increase the wage of workers (53 percent).

The latest Ulat ng Bayan was conducted from September 1 to 7 using face-to-face interviews.

It has a + 2% error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

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