MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday said he was optimistic that the Philippine economy would not dive into a recession despite a 14-year-high inflation rate of 8 percent recorded in November.
In a video message, Marcos cited the dip in the Philippines' unemployment rate to 4.5 percent, which he attributed to his administration's efforts in creating more jobs.
“Kaya’t kahit papaano ay malakas ang loob natin na hindi tayo magkakaroon ng recession dito sa Pilipinas dahil masyadong mababa ang unemployment rate at kung maaalala ninyo sa pagsimula namin dito sa administrasyong ito ay pinag-usapan na namin ay trabaho talaga ang aming uunahin. Kaya’t ‘yan ang nakikita ngayon natin na nangyayari. Ipagpatuloy lang natin ‘yan,” he said.
Marcos also assured Filipinos that his administration is looking for ways to cushion the blow of soaring prices among basic commodities.
“At asahan ninyo na lahat ng paraaan na maari nating gawin ay gagawin natin para pababain ang inflation rate at gawing mas mabagal man lang ang pagtaas ng presyo," he said.
Marcos earlier said that the country's accelerating inflation was "rampant" and getting "out of control," but noted that the country's main drivers of inflation came from imports.
"There is still inflation that is running rampant and out of control... The main drivers of that inflation are unfortunately imported, it is still imported inflation," he told business leaders during the Arangkada Forum of the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines in Pasay City on Tuesday.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier reported that the number of unemployed Filipinos in October was at 2.24 million, which was lower than last year's 3.5 million.
The PSA survey also indicated the employment rate in October rose to 95.5 percent, from 95 percent in the previous month, the highest rate recorded since January 2020.
But some sectors have raised concern over the country's accelerating inflation rate.
Opposition lawmaker Sen. Risa Hontiveros called on the government to push for a wage increase for workers to help them with rising prices.
"Ngayong papalapit na ang Pasko, sana naman ay mapakinggan na ang hiling ng mga manggagawa na umento sa sahod," Hontiveros said in a Facebook post.
Non-profit think tank IBON Foundation also called for a wage hike, noting that the current minimum wage for workers in Metro Manila remains "insufficient."
—with reports from Pia Gutierrez and Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News