MANILA — To prevent possibilities of price manipulation, President Benigno Aquino III ordered the release of smuggled garlic and rice seized by the Bureau of Customs (COM) into the market.
“One of the things that I had tasked the DA, the DTI and the Customs is to conduct phyto-sanitary testing of the confiscated garlic. If it passes and conforms with the laws, we will unload all this into the market to ease prices,” Aquino said during the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force at Clark Air Base, Pampanga.
The president also commented that the Department of Agriculture (DA) and of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) rolling stores which sells items subject to price increase did not create an impact on consumers.
“But the price keeps on rising. The issue is somebody is manipulating the prices and not the law of supply and demand,” he said.
To ensure the strict implementation of the suggested retail prices, the president said that DTI has increased its price monitoring and law enforcement efforts.
“Those who will be found violating the Price Act and selling rice without proper authorization will be fined and face criminal cases,” he said.