Poor feel price pain from TRAIN
For poor families, consumer prices rose at their fastest pace in over three years during the first quarter mainly on the back of higher food, beverage and cigarette costs, the government reported Monday.
The latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed consumer price index for the bottom 30-percent income households in the country climbed to 5.3 percent during the January to March period from 2.8 percent a year ago and 3.5 percent a quarter ago.
The first-quarter figure was the highest since the 6.8-percent posted in the third quarter of 2014. For the bottom 30-percent income households, the year 2000 is used as base year.
“The indices of all the commodity groups posted higher annual growths during the quarter, except for fuel, light and water index which decelerated to 6.1 percent,” the PSA said.
Data showed that during the first three months, prices of food, beverage and tobacco rose 5.9 percent year-on-year; housing and repairs, up 3.7 percent; clothing, up 1.9 percent; services, up 1.9 percent; and miscellaneous expenses, up 1.5 percent.
The prices of a number of products increased early this year as result of the higher taxes on consumption under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.
Signed by President Duterte in December, Republic Act 10963 or the TRAIN law since Jan. 1 this year either increased or set new excise taxes on cigarettes, sugary drinks, oil products and vehicles, among other goods, to compensate for the restructured personal income tax regime that raised the tax-exempt cap to those receiving P250,000 salary a year.
The food index alone jumped 5.3 percent in the first quarter from 3.4 percent a quarter ago and 2.7 percent in the same quarter a year ago, the PSA said.
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