— President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday ordered concerned government agencies to take stern action against profiteers and hoarders in a bid to stabilize the price of rice and other agricultural products.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma said the President directed the Department of Justice (DOJ), through the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), to look into reported hoarding, profiteering and cartel-like activities.
Coloma said the Philippine National Police (PNP) will assist in these efforts.
President Aquino’s directive came after the government determined that there was sufficient supply of rice, garlic and other basic food items amid soaring prices.
Coloma said the Chief Executive likewise ordered Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, agriculture and food czar Secretary Francis Pangilinan, and Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo to intensify monitoring efforts to ensure continuous supply and stable prices of these commodities.
He said the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (OPAFSAM) will issue shortly the specific measures and actions to execute the President’s directives.
President Aquino met with concerned government agencies Thursday afternoon to determine the cause of the price spikes of agricultural commodities.