Pasaring kay BBM? Medalla begging part-time Agri Secretary to do something, anything, about spiking food prices to cool down 14-year high inflation

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas which is headed by Governor Felipe Medalla revealed its frustration over the Department of Agriculture led by President Bongbong Marcos in his free time.

“The BSP continues to strongly urge the timely implementation of non-monetary government interventions to mitigate the impact of persistent supply-side pressures on inflation,” BSP said in a press release on medium -term inflation path.

This is a more pointed remark by the BSP on the DA compared to its initial statement on October inflation where it “reiterated its full support for the national government’s efforts to improve farm productivity and address supply bottlenecks.”

Inflation rocketed to 7.7 percent in October from 6.9 percent in September. Year-to-date average inflation is now at 5.4 percent, way above government’s target of two to percent for 2022.

BSP blamed the inflation spike on “faster price increases of food commodities, specifically fruits and vegetables cased by typhoons disruptions and sugar and meat due to supply concerns.

Marcos has ignored appeals from lawmakers and businessmen to appoint a full-time Agriculture Secretary to focus on the worsening supply problems in the farm sector.

The BSP apparently is wary of using its monetary tools to rein in inflation as well as keep the peso from deteriorating further against the US dollar.

The BSP, which has raised interest rates by 225 basis points over the last six months, is expected to jack up interest rates by 75 basis points to five percent on November 17.

ERC to look into complaints of overcharging by power firms

Numerous complaints on increasing electricity rates have prompted the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to launch an investigation on the accuracy and reasonableness of the generation rates being passed on by distribution utilities (DUs) to its consumers.