MANILA - A lawmaker who advises House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on economic policies said Sunday that "mismanagement" led to quickening inflation.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said economic managers did not foresee that inflation would accelerate to levels not seen in almost 10 years.
Economic managers have blamed rising world crude oil prices for driving up inflation.
But Salceda said that 2 basic commodities that sped up inflation are rice and fish, the prices of which the government could have stabilized.
"So ang ibig sabihin (that means), I will blame it on mismanagement," the Albay solon said in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo.
At 6.7 percent, September inflation was the fastest since February 2009.
While the Philippines was unlikely to achieve food self-sufficiency, Salceda said the government could have worked to ensure food security by importing rice and other commodities to keep prices stable.
Salceda also said that inflation would hit hardest those who are living below the poverty line, which he said was 21 percent of Filipino families.
"Lalaki ang bilang ng mahihirap (The number of the impoverished will swell)," Salceda said.
This was in contrast to what Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said that 6.8 percent inflation "won't really make a big difference" as the county had seen higher inflation numbers in the past.
Salceda noted that in Southeast Asia, the Philippines still has one of the highest poverty levels, with only Myanmar and Laos having worse rates of poverty.
"Talo na tayo ng Cambodia (Cambodia has beaten us)," he said.