Philip­pines to reg­u­late prices of rice, fish, veg­gies

The Nation - - AEC -

The Philip­pines’ Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (DA) will im­pose a sug­gested re­tail price (SRP) for ba­sic agricultural goods start­ing next week as a means to pro­tect con­sumers from al­leged “prof­i­teer­ing” by some re­tail­ers and traders.

De­spite sta­ble farm-gate prices for com­modi­ties such as rice, fish and veg­eta­bles, Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Em­manuel Pi­nol said re­tail prices had been in­creas­ing “ab­nor­mally,” prompt­ing the DA and the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (DTI) to start set­ting SRPs.

In an in­ter­view on Wednesday, ol said they would start with the “eas­i­est com­modi­ties to cover” in­clud­ing rice, se­lected fish va­ri­eties such as black carp (tilapia), milk­fish (ban­gus) and round scad (galung­gong), and veg­eta­bles like egg­plant and cab­bage.

Pi­nol held a meet­ing with in­dus­try stake­hold­ers last month to de­ter­mine the best price points for the said com­modi­ties. Aside from pro­duc­tion costs, other fac­tors that would de­ter­mine the SRP in­clude trans­porta­tion costs and the ef­fect of the new tax law.

For rice va­ri­eties, the sec­re­tary said prices for reg­u­lar-milled rice should not go be­yond 39 peso a kilo while well-milled rice should not go be­yond 42 peso a kilo. Price for fancy rice va­ri­eties, mean­while, would not be reg­u­lated.

Price points for fish and veg­eta­bles would also be reg­u­lated by next week, although the sec­re­tary did not give spe­cific fig­ures.

SRPs for poul­try prod­ucts have yet to be de­ter­mined by the agency. Pi­nol said a sec­ond round of meet­ing with in­dus­try stake­hold­ers would be held next week since mem­bers of the poul­try sub­sec­tor have yet to agree on the im­po­si­tion of SRPs on prod­ucts such as broiler chick­ens and eggs. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

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