By JOAHNA LEI E. CASILAO
INFLATION may be good or bad depending on one’s point of view, former Economics department chair Emmanuel Lopez explained during The Political Science Forum’s annual public lecture on Wednesday.
In August, the country’s inflation rate rose to a nine-year high at 6.4 percent.
“Economically, there are good points [to] inflation […] Dadami ang foreign currency reserve natin. That is the lifeblood of the economy of any country. That’s why inflation is not so bad after all,” Lopez explained.
The professor said a high inflation rate causes a decrease in the prices of export products, thereby creating higher demand.
However, Lopez added that a high inflation rate is only beneficial for people who have something to invest in.
“Remember, when you talk about inflation, negatively affected ang working force because the purchasing power is reduced,” he said.
Lopez also criticized Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol for not immediately importing rice following the shortage, adding that that was what solved the shortage during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Of course, magigipit ang foreign currency mo pero ma-se-save mo naman ang inflation rate […] Papabayaan mo ba mag-suffer ang tao dahil sa price increase? Hindi, hayaan mo mag-suffer ang gobyerno [dahil] temporary lang naman ‘yan,” he said.
Lopez advised Filipinos to save, explaining that “we have to live within our means.”
“The problem with the Philippines is that they are spending more than what they are earning,” he said.
The event titled “Philippine Political Economy in the 21st Century” was held at the Central Lab Auditorium. F