Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume IV, Number 19 June 13 - 19, 2004 Quezon City, Philippines
Value Down to P0.56
country’s consumer price index (CPI) shows that as of May this year prices
have increased so much since 1994 that the value of the Philippine peso has
fallen by almost half.
DANILO ARAÑA ARAO
bad news is that with the exception of wages, practically everything is on the
rise. Even worse news is the situation where the purchasing power of the peso
has further decreased due to astronomical price increases since 1994.
of May 2004, the country’s consumer price index (CPI) shows that prices have
increased so much since 1994 that the value of the Philippine peso has already
been cut by almost half.
CPI is the basis for computing the inflation rate and uses 1994 as base year.
The National Statistics Office (NSO), however, has started presenting CPI data
which uses the year 2000 as base year.
the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the value of one peso was
pegged at P0.49 ($0.01, based on exchange rate of P55.88 per US dollar), the
lowest in the country. On the other hand, Western Visayas had the highest
purchasing power with P0.60 ($0.01). In Metro Manila, the purchasing power of
the peso stood at P0.55 ($0.01), one centavo lower than the national average.
the data since May 2001, the decrease in purchasing power ranged from 5.8
percent (Cagayan Valley) to 12.3 percent (Cordillera Administrative Region or
workers based in Metro Manila, this means that the P280 ($5.01) daily minimum
wage is worth only P154.70 ($2.77) in real terms. Simply put, a worker in Metro
Manila will now have to pay P280 for the same quantity and quality of goods
worth only P154.70 in 1994.
working in the ARMM are in the worst rut since their daily minimum wage of P140
($2.51), already the lowest in the country, is worth only P69.30 ($1.24).
these data have not yet factored in the impact of recent and impending price
of petroleum products recently went up again triggering a hike in transportation
June 12, commuters started paying an additional P1.50 for the minimum fare in
jeepneys. There are impending increases in electricity and water rates.
Officials are also seriously considering imposing a 20 percent tax on text
messages to increase government revenues. This simply implies that consumers may
have to pay around P0.20 more for every text message they send which currently
cost around P1.
Arroyo administration and employers, meanwhile, stress that wage increases may
not happen since this would allegedly complicate the already volatile nature of
the economy. They rehashed the arguments that investors may pull out of the
country if wages increased and that many business establishments will close
Indeed, whoever gets proclaimed president will definitely inherit not just the economy that is a shambles but also the people’s wrath due to worsening quality of life of the Filipino people. Bulatlat.com