Palace: Gov't monitoring prices of basic goods
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Sunday, June 22, assured the public it was monitoring the prices of basic commodities to guard against those who hoard or overprice these goods.
In a radio interview, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said several agencies were working together to "protect the public from unreasonably high prices."
"The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is closely monitoring and conducting surveillance of basic food prices and will strictly enforce anti-profiteering measures on retail outlets," Coloma said.
He added the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) would meet to discuss the food supply situation.
The NPCC is composed of the DTI, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
Representatives from the consumer, agricultural producer, trading and manufacturing sectors also form part of the NPCC.
Poultry, pork supply stable
The DA said "opportunistic traders" were jacking up the retail prices of chicken and pork in Metro Manila.
But the agency said there was no need to import additional supply.
Agriculture Undersecretary for Livestock Operations Jose Reaño said the rising prices of other basic commodities were driving traders with "opportunistic attitudes" to also raise prices, although he noted both the supply and farmgate prices of chicken and pork were stable.
Farmgate prices of chicken ranged from P92 to P97 per kilogram at live weight.
The farmgate prices of pork, meanwhile, ranged from P115 to P129 per kilogram at live weight.
But as of June 19, the retail prices of pork and chicken jumped by almost 100% from farmgate prices.
Fully-dressed chicken was sold at P125 to P150 per kilogram, while lean pork meat retailed at P180 to P200 per kilogram.
The usual price markup is usually pegged at a maximum of P30 per kilogram.
In a statement, Reaño said, "Traders and retailers with opportunistic attitudes are taking advantage of the spiraling price of other commodities. There’s almost a 100% jump in prices from the farm to the market. There seems to be a large profit margin in marketing."
Poultry raisers have asked the government to stem the increase in prices.
Guarding rice supply
Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan said the National Food Authority (NFA) would double its delivery of rice to alleviate the impact of higher rice prices in the market.
From 12,500 sacks of rice delivered to markets across the country, this will be increased to 25,800 sacks.
NFA rice should sell at P27 per kilo and well-milled, for P32.
Pangilinan said the NFA was also tasked to monitor accredited retailers to ensure they do not hike up the prices.
"We will not hesitate to suspend or revoke the licenses of retailers caught overpricing or hoarding rice," he said.
Special monitoring teams will go around Metro Manila to inspect markets.
The public is encouraged to report erring retailers to the NFA, Pangilinan added.
Supply of garlic adequate
As the prices of garlic remain high, Coloma said the DA deployed rolling stores in Muntinlupa, Pasig, Marikina, and Quezon City to sell garlic priced at P100 to P200 per kilo.
Based on informatino from the DA, the supply of locally produced garlic reached 8,308 metric tons as of March 2014.
Officials say supply is adequate to meet the current demand. – Rappler.com