A P100 budget in February 2018 can now only buy P80.7 worth of basic goods in February 2023. This is the computation made by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Palawan on the current trend of the purchasing power of the peso in a time of increasing inflation.

The rate in Puerto Princesa showed an acceleration from 6.6 percent in January to 7.5 percent in February 2023. It is almost twice the 4.1 percent in February 2022.

The acceleration was driven by three key commodity groups: food and non-alcoholic beverages (11.5 percent), housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels (1.1 percent), and clothing and footwear (10.6%).

Fish and other seafood account for 20.4 percent of the commodity group of food and non-alcoholic beverages. According to PSA Palawan statistical specialist II Maylyn Villegas, dried fish has seen the sharpest price increase due to supply.

“Sinilip namin kanina, karamihan ng tumaas ay dried fish. Karamihan ay dried fish, probably ay baka mahirap mag-dry nitong mga panahon na ito. Bukod sa mahirap ang catch, mahirap pa mag-dry due to the weather,” she said.

The boosting of the tourism industry can also help improve other commodity groups in the economy of Puerto Princesa, she added.

“The tourism cuts across all industries natin, commodity groups. Not only in restaurants and accommodation, pwede siya sa wholesale and retail kasi souvenirs. Nandon din siya sa transport. Kung mabo-boost natin probably, it will improve other commodity groups natin,” she said.

Palawan, on the other hand, remained stable at 8.7 percent. However, it is still twice as high as the February 2022 rate of 4.8 percent.

The same top commodity groups of Puerto Princesa also contributed to Palawan’s inflation rate for the month of February. Food and non-alcoholic beverage recorded at 11.7 percent, followed by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels at 5.0 percent, and third is clothing and footwear at 8.9 percent.

The inflation rate in Palawan equates to .81 purchasing power for the peso, while .82 for Puerto Princesa city.

Palawan is the only province in the region that remained stable in the month of February, while Puerto Princesa ranks fifth in the highest rate recorded. The province of Oriental Mindoro tops the rank of highest inflation rate with 10.7 percent in February.