(Updated 4:49 p.m.) The hilarious and honest answer of a contestant from “It’s Showtime’s” “Miss Q&A” segment opened the discussion about the public’s lack of awareness about the effect of the weakening peso on the lives of ordinary Filipinos.
In its September 30 episode, candidate Vanessa Bolton was asked about the personal impact of the weakening value of the Philippine peso.
“I believe ang epekto sa akin ng pagbaba ng piso—hindi ko rin po alam,” the contestant said while laughing.
“Personal kasi ang piso kasi hindi po dalawang piso,” she added.
“Kaya naman ang gagawin ko na lang ngayon, i-congratualate si Ivern,” she said, pointing her contender.
Vanessa’s answer earned a standing ovation from the studio audience.
Comedian and host Vice Ganda said it is the “best answer,” saying it is “very honest” and “sincere.”
Karylle, meanwhile, underscored that this reveals that other people are unaware of the impact of the Philippine peso depreciation.
“Saka eyeopener na para sa iba pala hindi nila naiisip ano nga ba ang epekto nito sa’yo,” Karylle said.
Vice Ganda agreed and said it could spark a discussion about the issue.
“Ngayon, magkakaroon ng diskusyon, aalamin mo na ngayon kesa nagdudunongdunungan ka,” Vice Ganda said.
Effect of PHP depreciation
Last September 27, the local currency ended at P58.99 against the US dollar.
There was also a consistent depreciation in the peso last month.
On Monday, Philippine Peso reached a new record low against the US dollar after closing at P59.
This depreciation has a direct impact on the prices of most commodities, Philippine Statistics Authority chief Dennis Mapa said.
“Strong dollar versus the peso has an impact on the items in the consumer price index,” Mapa said.
He noted that imported commodities such as petroleum, which are bought using dollars, could impact local pump prices and, therefore, affect inflation.
Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. president Danilo Fausto said consumers face higher food prices as the continued depreciation of the peso shoots up prices of imported agricultural products.
Lawmakers also underscored that the weakening peso might undermine government programs.
“The prices of imported goods are increasing as well as the prices of materials such as cement, electrical wirings, and oil which are needed in the government’s flagship programs,” Rep. Reynanto Arrogancia (Quezon province, Third District) said.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said inflation may have risen beyond 7% in September amid the sharp depreciation of the peso against the dollar, as well as higher food prices and the increase in electricity rates.
After slightly easing to 6.3% in August from 6.4% in July, the BSP said inflation in September likely settled within the 6.6 to 7.4% range.