Joey Salceda predicts 6.1 inflation this month, lower prices by next year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — Inflation rate is likely to drop soon — but high prices might stay until Christmas, House Economic Affairs Vice Chairperson Joey Salceda predicted on Friday.

"We can see that 6.4... (will) start to fall actually this September, mag-6.1 na lang iyan e," Salceda told CNN Philippines' The Source. "So bababa po yung inflation numerically pero... it will be (at) the same price levels."

[Translation: We can see that 6.4... (will) start to fall actually this September. It will drop to about 6.1 (percent). So inflation will go down numerically but... it will be (at) the same price levels.]

The congressman added that prices might look better by January.

RELATED: Diokno expects lower rice prices by year-end

In August, inflation hit a nine-year high at 6.4 percent, while the peso hit a near 13-year low. This comes on top of a rice crisis, and the higher prices for food and fuel amid a controversial tax reform package.

In a Friday statement from the Finance Department, economic managers expected "moderate" inflation in the months ahead. It aims to streamline import procedures for rice, fish and sugar to boost their supply in the domestic market — and effectively lower prices.

The DOF said the government expects two million sacks of rice delivered by the end of the month. It also urged the Senate to quickly pass the rice tariffication bill, which scraps quantitative restriction on its imports.

Salceda also believes the government should address food issues to curb inflation — but he believes the government must temporarily lift tariffs on fish, meat, corn, and vegetables too.

The congressman was appointed Special Focal Person for Counter-Inflation Measures by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The Albay representative was previously an economic manager during her presidency.

He also maintained that there was no need for the Trade, Budget, Finance, and Socio-economic Planning secretaries to resign.

"Oo, magagaling po iyan e," Salceda said when asked if he thought economic managers were doing enough. "Tsaka may tiwala ng Presidente. Yun ang importante e."

[Translation: Yes, they're good... And they have the trust of the President. That's what's important.]

His colleague House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez called on Duterte's economic managers to step down amid the economic situation, but Malacanang has since said they would not fire their officials.