FACT CHECK: Did commodity prices go down in previous months?

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. claimed some commodity prices went down in the previous months during his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 24. Art by Janssen Romero/THE FLAME

CLAIM: “Sa mga nakalipas na buwan, nakita natin ang pagbaba ng presyo ng bilihin sa iba’t ibang mga sektor. Napatunayan natin na kayang maipababa ang presyo ng bigas, karne, isda, gulay at asukal. Malaking tulong ang Kadiwa store na ating muling binuhay at inilunsad.”

RATING: Partly false


During his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 24, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. claimed that the commodity prices for rice, meat, fish, vegetable and sugar decreased during the previous months due to the Kadiwa program.

His claim is partly false because of the increase in the prices of some commodities based on the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) price monitoring.

The “Kadiwa ng Pangulo,” an initiative first introduced in 1981 by his late father, former president Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., aims to connect farmers to consumers. The younger Marcos claimed in his speech that the program benefitted at least 1.8 million families, which is less than 6% of all households in the Philippines.

According to the DA’s price monitoring data, the prices of some of the country’s food staples rose in the previous months in Metro Manila markets.

The price of regular milled rice climbed from P34 per kilo in May to P35 per kilo in June and P36 per kilo this July. Meanwhile, special imported rice was priced at P45 in June from its original price of P50 per kilo this May. 

However, the prices were indeed lower compared to last year’s data. Regular milled rice was sold at P38 per kilo from April to July, while special imported rice was priced at P52 per kilo from April to June

A noticeable increase was monitored in the price of meat during the previous months. The price of chicken meat went up to P200 in July from P160 in June and P150 per kilo in May. Meanwhile, the price of whole chicken in May decreased year-on-year by 11%. 

The DA’s price monitoring data also showed that most vegetables’ prices increased from April to June this year, but the prices of cabbage and carrot in May were lower by 25% year-on-year.

Onion prices increased by 66% in May this year from P90 per kilo in April. Last month, local red onion prices ranged from P150 to P180, up by 66% from its retail price in the same period last year. Prices of local red onions increased to P140 in July from P130 in the previous month, while the prices of local and imported white onions went down to P120 in July from P150 in May for local white onions. 

Last December, the prices of onions soared, with local red onion prices skyrocketing from P500 to P720 per kilo and local white onion prices reaching P600 per kilo. Marcos, also the agriculture secretary, blamed the higher prices on smugglers, hoarders and price manipulators. 

While other commodities had fluctuating prices, the cost of refined sugar remained stagnant at P86 since April from P90 in January this year. However, compared to its price in April 2022, the cost of refined sugar increased by over 22%. The price of sugar, which was P70 per kilo in June last year, climbed to P100 per kilo after two months. The price spike was due to a sugar shortage in the country.

The price of tilapia dropped month-on-month in June this year by 4% but it stayed the same in July. Other fishes’ prices, such as milkfish, also decreased from P160 in March to P140 in July. The price of milkfish also dropped year-on-year in May by 9%.

During Marcos’ first year in office, the country grappled with 14-year-high inflation mainly driven by the higher costs of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.  The 8.7% inflation in January was the highest since the 9.1% recorded in November 2008 during the global financial crisis. 

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has reported that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the average change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services, rose to 121.10 points in June from 120.90 points in May. An increase in the CPI indicates rising commodity prices. The CPI for food and non-alcoholic beverages also increased from 121.4 points in April to 122 points in June. 

Although the country experienced a decelerating inflation for the fifth consecutive month since February this year, the development translates to a slower increase in prices, not a decrease in prices. President Marcos’ claim is partly false because he did not mention the increase of some commodity prices. F – Trisha Tamio, Julianne Loreign Vicente, Micah Pascua and Pauline Bautista

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