A vendor is seen attending to her produce and vegetables stall in Quiapo Market, Manila. AP

MANILA – Inflation may continue to accelerate further than the 4.6 percent in May, but it is expected to settle within the government’s full-year target of 2 to 4 percent, Budget secretary Benjamin Diokno said Monday.

Diokno said inflation may continue to accelerate faster than the 4.6 percent recorded in May – the fastest in at least five years.

“Maybe it has not peaked yet, but I’m confident that we will be in the upper band of 2 to 4 [percent],” he told reporters during a press conference.

In the five months to May, inflation clocked in at 4.1 percent, but Diokno said this will be offset by a deceleration in the second half of the year.

“It’s decelerating na nga. Pababa na. Prices of oil are going down. Nagno-normalize na ‘yung price ng rice. And with the closer monitoring of prices, we’ll hit the 2 to 4 percent. I’m confident,” he said.

The government expects to complete the disbursements of financial assistance under the unconditional cash transfer by the end of July, in efforts to mitigate the impact of inflation.

Ang sabi sa akin, matatapos na ‘yun by end of July,” Diokno said.

The state-sponsored unconditional cash transfer program gives beneficiaries P200 a month or P2,400 a year. This will be increased to P300 a month or P3,600 a year in 2019 and 2020.

The government targets 10 million beneficiaries, but the Department of Finance said in February that only around 7.4 million households will receive cash transfers in the first quarter.

Socioeconomic Planning secretary Ernesto Pernia has called on concerned government agencies to fast-track the processing of financial assistance amid rising crude prices in global markets.

Diokno said on Monday the government is now identifying the remaining 2.6 million beneficiaries who will receive cash transfers next month.

Naghahanap nalang kami ng 2.6 million … You have to make sure na talagang sila ‘yung nandun sa baba,” he said.

“Through the data gathered from this study, we aim to encourage more Filipinos to look past the stigma and prejudice and be more open to working for the government. After all, it does have its wonderful perks,” said Christine Sevilla, JobStreet Philippines’ senior manager for Government.

JobStreet also found that 80 percent of candidates want to work for government, especially due to the benefits of job security, retirement plans, and career growth, yet only 37 percent are actually eligible to get a job in government.

The research comes on the heels the Civil Service Examinations last March.

“It’s up to JobStreet’s government partners to more efficiently and adequately disseminate information about eligibility for civil service, including the different levels of eligibility associated with the CSE-PPT exam,” according to JobStreet.

Another exam is coming up in August, and candidates should be well-informed about what to expect, and how to achieve their desired positions.

“With these results, we recommend that government human resources divisions conduct their own happiness surveys from time to time to help identify areas of improvement in job satisfaction of their employees, as well as bolster efforts to improve areas where happiness is already at a high level.” JobStreet Philippines general manager Philip Gioca said. (GMA News)

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