Price control seen for agri products

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said recently they are coordinating with the Department of Agriculture (DA) on the implementation of the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) system for agricultural products.

“These are volatile products in a volatile market, and we will impose SRP even on a temporary basis to some agricultural products,” Lopez, who was in Palawan last week, said.

The DTI in the province said it is their agency that has been tasked to set the SRP for the identified agricultural products that the government will regulate.

Welson Paz, Trade and Industry Development Specialist of DTI Palawan said on Thursday that though their agency will help formulate the SRP, this will be done through a consultation with the agriculture sector since the SRP on canned goods and manufactured products were based on the recommendations made by the manufacturers themselves. He said that about the monitoring of prices, there are no guidelines yet from their higher office, and it is not clear on who will monitor the prices.

“Ang napag-usapan ay mag-set ng SRP ay ang DTI, pero hindi pa malinaw kung anong government agency ang mag-monitor. Wala pang binababang guidelines ang DTI central office, kaya wala pang official,” he said.

The uncontrolled hike in prices especially commercial rice prompted the national government to impose SRP on agricultural products and it may include other products like meat, fish, vegetable and other agricultural products in the market.

“Masyadong tumaas ang presyo ng bigas nung nawalan ng NFA rice. Wala din sa control ng NFA ang commercial rice. Kaya ito merong SRP para ma-regulate ang mga agricultural products,” he said.

Paz said that one province in MIMAROPA region has controlled prices of fish in their market particularly that in Romblon. He said that he was impressed by the initiative of Romblon provincial government for regulating their marine and fishery products through a provincial ordinance.

Prices of meat products on the other hand such as dressed chicken and pork are normally dictated by supply and demand factors, and prevailing prices of the commodity in a specific locality, thus prices of meat products may vary from one provinces to another.

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