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Cost of living

A survey by the World Economic Forum warned that the cost-of-living crisis will be the biggest global risk over the next two years, as global inflation remains at sky-high levels after energy and food costs rocketed last year following the unprovoked invasion of agricultural powerhouse Ukraine by major oil and gas producing Russia, which has been penalized by the global community with unprecedented economic sanctions.

Additionally, supply constraints caused by the COVID pandemic have also contributed to decades-high consumer prices of goods.

“Conflict and geo-economic tensions have triggered a series of deeply interconnected global risks,” said the study ahead of the WEF’s annual meeting of global elites in the Swiss alpine village of Davos.

“These include energy and food supply crunches, which are likely to persist for the next two years, and strong increases in the cost of living and debt servicing.” It added that such “crises risk undermining efforts to tackle longer-term risks, notably those related to climate change, biodiversity and investment in human capital.”

The report described the cost-of-living crisis as the “biggest short term risk” by 2025, followed by natural disasters, extreme weather events and “geo-economic confrontation.”

“Those that are already the most vulnerable are suffering – and in the face of multiple crises, those who qualify as vulnerable are rapidly expanding, in rich and poor countries.”

The WEF study called “on leaders to act collectively and decisively, balancing short and long term views,” and concluded on the need for cooperation on strengthening “financial stability, technology governance, economic development and investment in research, science, education and health.”

In the Philippines, the bulk of the population that most certainly qualifies as vulnerable can certainly relate with the severity of the cost-of-living crisis, which in this country, is ridiculously symbolized by onion prices.

The cost-of-living crisis might be a global issue, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for the Philippine government to take it lightly and depend on Filipino’s highly touted resiliency to bail it out of its duty to ensure a better life and standard of living for its people. Maybe we can start with the onions, and then move on to the prices of other basic goods that are also threatening to shoot up during these difficult times.*

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January 2023
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