PH inflation eased to 4.5% in March — PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2021   •   569

MANILA, Philippines — Inflation or rate of increase in the prices of goods and services slightly slowed down in March due to slower price movement of food and non-alcoholic beverages, data released Tuesday by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

The PSA said the consumer price index was recorded at 4.5% in March, slightly slower than 4.7% registered in February. However, this is still faster than the 2.5% in March 2020.

March inflation brought the year-to-date inflation at 4.5%, still within the 4.2% to 5% forecast range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the agency said.

“The slowdown in inflation at the national level was primarily due to the lower annual increment registered in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages at 5.8 percent in March 2021, from 6.7 percent inflation in February 2021,” the PSA said in a statement.

Core inflation, which excludes selected food and energy items, stood at 3.5%. This was unchanged from the rate recorded in the previous month, but faster than the 3% recorded in March last year.

The PSA also noted deceleration in the annual increases in the indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco (12.1 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (1.9 percent); communication (0.2 percent); and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services (3.1 percent).

“The latest outturn is consistent with expectations that inflation could settle above the high-end of the target in 2021, reflecting the impact of supply-side constraints on domestic prices of key food commodities, such as meat, as well as the continuing uptick in international oil prices,” the BSP said in a statement.

“Nevertheless, inflation is still seen to return to within the target band in 2022 as supply-side influences subside. At the same time, timely and effective implementation of direct measures by the national government could contribute to easing price pressures,” it added.

The central bank also said that a tighter domestic supply of meat products and improved global economic activity could lend further upward pressures on inflation.

However, the ongoing pandemic also continues to pose downside risks to the inflation outlook, as the recent surge in virus infections and challenges over mass vaccination programs continue to temper prospects for domestic demand, it added.

PSA warns public against fixers, scammers collecting fees for PhilSys ID

Marje Pelayo   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) warns the public against fixers and scammers collecting assistance fee for the processing of the PhilSys ID or the National ID card.

The agency said the entire process of application up to delivery of the physical card is free.

To avoid scammers, the PSA encourages the public to personally process their PhilSys registration.

The public is also encouraged to report to the agency any incident or individual who offers assistance/payment for PhilSys ID processing via email to info@philsys.gov.ph or send a message to PSA’s official Facebook account m.me/PSAPhilSysOfficial.

Concerns and reports may also be coursed through the nearest Provincial Statistics Office.

“Muli, libre po ang pagpaparehistro sa PhilSys, walang assistance fee, at walang delivery fee para sa PhilID,” the agency posted.

Meanwhile, the PSA reiterated that any unauthorized issuance and use of PhilID is penalized by imprisonment of three to six months, a fine of up to three million pesos in accordance with the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act.

PH unemployment rate drops to 7.1% in March, PSA says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The unemployment rate in the country fell to 7.1 percent in March 2021, a survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed Thursday.

Based on the latest Labor Force Survey, the PSA said the unemployment rate registered in the third month of the year is equivalent to 3.44 million Filipinos aged 15 and above.

This is lower than the 8.8 percent or 4.19 million unemployed persons in February, and 8.7 percent or 3.95 million in January.

“This is the lowest reported rate covering the period of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic since April 2020,” the agency noted in a statement.

The PSA also reported that the labor force participation rate bounced back to 65.0 percent or a total of 48.77 million in March 2021.

The employment rate rose to 92.9 percent in March 2021, from 91.2 percent in February 2021.

“This translates to a month-on-month increase of about 2.18 million Filipinos who had job or business, from 43.15 million in February 2021 to 45.33 million Filipinos in March 2021,” the PSA said.

VP Robredo registers to Philippine Identification System – PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has completed the second step in the registration for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

In a statement, the PSA said Robedo completed the registration process on Monday morning in Magarao, Camarines Sur which is one of the select municipalities in the two priority provinces for PhilSys registration.

Robredo finished the second step in about 12 minutes without technical difficulties after queuing with other local registrants, the agency said.

The step 2 registration involves the capture of the registrant’s biometric data such as their fingerprints, iris scans, and front-facing photograph.

Step 2 Registration began in January 2021 and continues to roll out on a gradual, small-scale basis in the priority provinces.

As of April 30, 2021, the PSA said that a total of 6,378,695 registrants have completed the Step 2 Registration. These individuals underwent the assisted Step 1 Registration or the house-to-house collection of demographic data, and setting of appointment for Step 2.

The PhilSys portal for pilot online Step 1 Registration was launched last April 30, 2021 but it encountered technical difficulties.

The final step of PhilSys registration will involve the issuance of the PhilSys Number (PSN) and the Philippine Identification (PhilID) card.

“The PSN is a randomly generated number and will serve as a permanent identification number for every registrant used for digital transactions,” the PSA said.

The PSA earlier reported that the delivery of the first batch of national identification cards of those who successfully registered in the system is underway.

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