Gatchalian to DTI: Stop rice hoarding, profiteering in Zambo
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian wants “crooked” traders taking advantage of the state of calamity in Zamboanga to be dealt with to the “fullest extent of the law.”
On Thursday, Gatchalian called on the Department of Trade and Industry to immediately exercise its enforcement powers to put a stop to alleged rice hoarding and profiteering, which is causing prices to rise in the city.
“Crooked traders who are using the state of calamity to make unconscionable extra profits should be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“This should help stabilize rice prices quickly,” added the senator, who chairs the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs.
Zamboanga City has been placed under a state of calamity due to rice shortage as retail prices of the staple grain reportedly soared to as high as P72 per kilo.
Amid this rice shortage, Gatchalian posed this question to the National Food Authority (NFA): “Nasaan na ba kayo?”
“It appears that the NFA has only managed to deliver 40,000 bags of rice to Zamboanga City. That’s not nearly enough to feed the residents of Zamboanga City, many of whom are now in danger of going hungry,” he said.
“Unfortunately, this seems to be yet another example of the NFA’s failure to fulfill its mandate to ensure that all Filipinos will have ready access to affordable rice,” the senator added. /muf
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