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The El Niño phenomenon has recently impacted the prices of goods in Central Visayas, driving the region's inflation rate to 4.0 percent in May 2024, after two months of stability. Engr. Felixberto Sato Jr., supervising statistical specialist of the Philippine Statistics Authority Central Visayas (PSA 7), reported on Thursday, June 13, that this figure is 0.8 percentage points higher than the 3.2 percent recorded in April.


The primary driver of the inflation uptrend was the significant rise in prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, which surged to 6.4 percent in May 2024 from 5.0 percent in April. Additionally, the transport index contributed to the increase, rising by 2.3 percent in May after a 1.4 percent decline in April. Sato noted that the region experienced faster annual increments in the indices of housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, which increased to 1.6 percent from 1.1 percent. El Niño Induced Sato attributed the rising inflation rate partly to the El Niño phenomenon, which he believed contributed to the increased prices of various goods and commodities. He highlighted that the heat brought by El Niño led to higher use of air conditioners and fans as people sought relief from the sweltering weather. El Niño, a natural climate phenomenon in the tropical Pacific, causes elevated sea-surface temperatures and less rain, significantly impacting global weather patterns. Food Inflation Food inflation, which is directly affected by El Niño, also increased, rising to 6.7 percent in May from 5.3 percent in April. The faster increase in the prices of cereals and cereal products, including rice, corn, flour, bread, pasta, and other bakery products, drove food inflation to 12.3 percent in May from 9.5 percent. Additionally, the rise in prices of vegetables, tubers, plantains, and cooking bananas, with an inflation rate of 11.4 percent from 1.7 percent in the previous month, was the second driver of food inflation. The increase in prices of meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals, which went up by 6.8 percent from 6.5 percent in April, also contributed to the overall food inflation.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum."

Section 1.10.32 of "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum", written by Cicero in 45 BC

"Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?"

1914 translation by H. Rackham

"But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?"

Section 1.10.33 of "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum", written by Cicero in 45 BC

"At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat."

1914 translation by H. Rackham

"On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammelled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains."

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Central Visayas Faces ₱179 Billion Economic Loss After NIR Approval

Central Visayas is set to experience a 14 percent reduction in its total economy, equating to approximately P179 billion, due to the separation of Negros Oriental and Siquijor from the region following the enactment of the Negros Island Region (NIR) law.

Engr. Felixberto Sato Jr., supervising statistical specialist at the Philippine Statistics Authority Central Visayas (PSA 7), noted on Thursday, June 13, that Negros Oriental contributes 12.9 percent and Siquijor 0.9 percent to the overall economy of Central Visayas.

Despite this adjustment, Sato expressed confidence that Central Visayas will maintain its status as a "trillionaire" economy, a milestone it has achieved annually since 2016. This was confirmed during the PSA's economic performance data dissemination.

"Still a trillionaire. Considering the small percentage share of Negros Oriental and Siquijor, now part of the newly created NIR," he said.

He added that the region's Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) stands at P1.38 trillion. With the separation of the two provinces, the GRDP is projected to be P1.2 trillion.

The creation of the NIR aims to streamline governance and development efforts for Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

Sato stated that Cebu Province remains the largest contributor to the economy among all highly urbanized cities and provinces in Central Visayas, accounting for 30.1 percent of the total.

He noted that in Negros Oriental, the services sector drives the economy, followed by agriculture, whereas Cebu's economic growth is primarily fueled by the manufacturing industry.

Bohol contributes 13.3 percent to the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP). Within the three highly urbanized cities in the region, Cebu City contributes 22.4 percent, Lapu-Lapu City 11.8 percent, and Mandaue City 8.5 percent.

In contrast to Central Visayas, Western Visayas, which achieved trillionaire status for the first time in 2023, might face a significant economic downturn. The provinces of Siquijor and Negros Oriental from Central Visayas, along with Negros Occidental and the highly urbanized city of Bacolod, will be transferred from Western Visayas to the newly formed Negros Island Region (NIR).

Historically, Negros Occidental has been the largest contributor to the GRDP of Western Visayas.

Sato mentioned that with the formation of the NIR, changes are anticipated in the regional agency's operations, including the establishment of a new regional office, though the location—either in Negros Oriental or Negros Occidental—has yet to be determined. Consequently, new officials, including a regional director for PSA NIR and other regional agencies, will be appointed.

He also noted that the implementing rules and regulations of the new law are still awaited, but assured that this transition will not disrupt service delivery. Instead, it is expected to streamline operations for PSA 7, including conducting current surveys for various studies.

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