The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) told city officials this week they are closely monitoring the prices of consumer goods to guard against “price irregularities”, especially in grocery stores and public markets.
Information officer Persival Narbonita said that the DTI, however, is only a recommendatory body to the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC). The LPCC is tasked to ensure that there are no excessive and unreasonable price spikes of agricultural commodities, processed products, including medicines.
Invited recently to attend the sessions of the City Council and the Provincial Board, Narbonita pointed out that under the Price Act, they are only monitoring consumer goods which are manufactured products.
“As part ng partnership natin, kami ay miyembro rin ng local price coordinating council. Umiikot din ang DTI sa mga tindahan at palengke para mag-establish kami ng price trending, o kung kailan umangat at bumaba [ang presyo]. Makita ‘yong comparison na may situations at may maipresenta kami sa council kung magpapatawag ang chairman,” Narbonita said.
“So far, medyo may kataasan nga ang presyo sa palengke pero hindi naman lahat nagri-range. Meron mataas, may tama lang. Binabase nila (market’s supervisor office) sa daily monitoring nila sa presyuhan. Parang may price irregularities, may movement talaga na hindi halos ma-explain kung bakit ganoon,” he added.
He said the final decision regarding the matter is dependent on the Price Council.
He said the price of pork meat per kilo is high is because hog raisers are selling outside Palawan to live weight buyers who offer attractive prices.
Narbonita added that some hog growers have stopped their businesses due to increase in the prices of feeds and manpower.
Based on DTI’s monitoring, the previous rate of around P80 to P90 kilo of live weight hogs rose to around P150, which is a “business opportunity” for farmers, he added.
“Marami rin nagbabababuyan na hindi na tumuloy dahil mahal ang feeds, wala na pambayad sa mga tao. Nagkakaroon ng mortality at ang presyo ay binabarat ng mga mamimili. Iyon ang allegations nila,” he said.
“Kung makikita nila ngayon, maging vigilant, mapagmatyag, mapanuri at mag-canvass din sila. Kasi ang allegation nila ay mahal ang karne (ng baboy) at manok sa palengke. Subukan nila pumunta sa supermarkets, mas maraming mas mababa doon. Kung titingnan natin, frozen siya, siguro wala pang langaw–iyon ang tingin ko as consumer kasi personal na namimili rin ako sa supermarkets,” he said.