MANILA — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is monitoring the prices of basic commodities other than rice, garlic and ginger, in an effort to stabilize food supply and prices, a Palace official said on Wednesday.
“Ayon kay DTI Undersecretary Vic Dimagiba, pati ang presyo ng baboy, karne, ‘yung mga daily food staples, ay mino-monitor na rin nila para mapigilan ‘yung maaaring pagsasamantala,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during a press briefing.
He warned that the DTI will strictly enforce anti-profiteering measures on retail outlets.
Coloma further said that the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) is slated to meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss the food supply situation and come up with concrete actions to protect the public from unreasonably high prices.
The NPCC is made up of the DTI, 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), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), and one representative each from the consumers’ sector, agricultural producers’ sector, trading sector, and manufacturers’ sector.
“We would like to get inputs from all stakeholders in this process and to assure that we have reliable data and information on food supply and food prices,” said Coloma.
On garlic supply, the Communications Secretary reported that according to the Department of Agriculture, locally produced garlic reached 8,308 metric tons last March.
“This is more than adequate to meet the current levels of demand,” he said, adding that the meeting thus aims to find out if the reported shortage in rice, garlic and ginger is artificial or if traders are manipulating the prices.
“Kaya nga magpupulong ang National Price Coordinating Council… to be able to size up the situation based on realities on the ground,” he said.