Filipino migrant workers are being urged to increase the money they send back to their families so they can cope with the rising cost of living in the Philippines. Photo: iStock

The Philippines’ inflation rate surged to a nine-year high in August, which will affect the remittances sent by Filipino migrant workers to their families.

On Wednesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced that the inflation rate had risen to 6.4% in August from 5.7% in July. The last time the rate was this high was in March 2009 when it hit 6.6% during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Rappler reported.

With the jump in prices, many Filipino migrant workers are being urged to increase their remittances so their families can cope with the rising cost of living.

Year on year, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 8.5% in August, alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose by 21%, furnishings and household equipment 3.5%, medicine and health-related commodities 4%, restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services 4%, and recreation and culture 2.4%.

Dennis Mapa, dean of the University of the Philippines School of Statistics, said most Filipino households spent 60% of their budget on food and the high inflation would plunge more families into poverty, Business Mirror reported.

“The government will have a hard time achieving its commitment to significantly reduce poverty by 14% by 2022,” Mapa said.

In June, an expert on migrant labor suggested that workers should increase the amount of money they send by 10-20% after the inflation rate hit 4.6% in May.

It is believed that 10% of Filipino households have at least one family member working overseas. In 2017, Filipino migrant workers remitted a total of US$28.1 billion back to the Philippines.

Read: Filipinos urged to send more money home to help families