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By Restituto Cayubit
TACLOBAN CITY – Inflation in Eastern Visayas eased to 2.0 percent in April 2019, a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority – Regional Statistical Service Office VIII (PSA – RSSO 8), based in this city said here Friday.
Wilma A. Perante, PSA – RSSO 8, regional director, told The Manila Bulletin that the inflation rate (IR) was 0.1 percentage point lower compared to the 2.1 percent IR a month ago, and 3.4 percentage points lower compared to the 5.4 percent IR recorded in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate is 1.0 percentage point lower than the 3.0 percent national average in April 2019, she added.
Perante reported that the provinces of Biliran, Eastern Samar, Samar and Southern Leyte registered lower IRs in April 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month.
Eastern Samar recorded the biggest drop of 1.9 percentage points, from 3.7 percent in March 2019 to 1.8 percent in April 2019. On the other and, Leyte and Northern Samar, registered 0.3 percentage point increase each settling at 3.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively in April 2019. Biliran posted the lowest with negative IR at 2.0 percent.
Leyte, meanwhile, recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 3.5 percent.
“Among the commodity groups, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group registered the highest decrease of 1.6 percentage points, from 1.8 percent in March 2019 to 0.2 percent during the month in review,” Perante said.
Perante also reported that the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 0.5 percentage point to 2.5 percent in April 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 3.0 percent. Higher inflation rates were noted in vegetables, sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery products, oils and fats, milk, cheese and eggs, and non-alcoholic beverages.
But these were offset by the slower price increases in rice, bread and cereals, food products not elsewhere classified, fruits, fish, corn, and meat.
Rice registered the biggest drop of 1.2 percentage points, from 1.4 percent in March 2019 to 0.2 percent in April 2019. Fruits index continued to register a negative inflation rate at 5.1 percent.
Slower IR was also exhibited in health at 3.5 percent registering a 0.1 percentage point decrease from its figure a month ago, she added.