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Sharp Edges

Expect rice, pork and vegetable prices to go down soon

/ 04:01 AM October 01, 2019

The public can look forward to cheaper prices for rice, pork, chicken and vegetables in Metro Manila and other urban centers very soon.

Expect also the elimination of middlemen and cartels which manipulate the supply and price of rice and other agricultural products. Earlier, over 30 governors from “food-producing provinces” agreed to work together with the Department of Agriculture to improve the lives of their farmers and find a way to speed up the delivery of their goods to Metro Manila.

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One of them was Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali who created a provincial food council with an initial fund of P200 million but later raised it to P5 billion to buy and sell rice and onions. Today, he allotted P2.2 billion for the purchase of palay from preidentified farmers at P15-19 per kilo, much higher than “private trading.”

Other governors from Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Cagayan and other provinces have also pledged to be more directly involved in the food supply chain.

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The National Food Authority has allotted P7 billion to buy palay this year, but involving local government units (LGUs) will mean an additional P700 funding for not just rice farmers but also other agricultural products. I was told that Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines had opened credit lines to LGUs to ensure food sustainability and security projects in their provinces.

With governors and mayors now directly helping their farmers and delivering their produce to Metro Manila, these greedy food middlemen and cartels will soon become obsolete.

* * *

A look at the family picture posted on Sen. Nancy Binay’s Facebook page shows that the rift that started in the May 2016 election continues.

Missing from the “#BeNice” photo were Makati Mayor Abigail Binay and her husband, prompting netizens to ask: “Why is the mayor not here?”

Deliberately or not, the posting of the Binay clan photo without one of its most important members is most ironic, given that it was released during National Family Week.

Who knows, there might yet be another twist in the Binay saga? After all, some say blood is thicker than water. Let’s just hope that there will still be a happy ending and reconciliation for the family despite signals to the opposite.

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* * *

In April, Metro Manila residents experienced rotational brownouts because of limited capacity.

We all clamor for additional and sustainable power supply as low reserves continue.

Recently, Meralco secured a 1,700-megawatt power supply agreement through a public bidding called the “competitive selection process (CSP).”

Initially, Phinma Energy Corp., San Miguel Energy Corp. and South Premiere Power Corp. (SPPC) offered the lowest rates beginning December. Two days after, First Gen Hydro Power, Phinma Energy and SPPC were awarded contracts to supply midmerit capacity.

Both are beneficial to Metro Manilans not just in terms of continuous power but because they are also cheaper (P0.28 per kilowatt hour for the first contract and P0.133 per kWh in the second). However, critics continue to oppose the CSP bidding process.

Their “selective” noise, this time against the country’s first 1,200-MW ultrasupercritical coal-fired plant in Atimonan, Quezon province, owned by Meralco’s Powergen, is not helping either.

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TAGS: Abigail Binay, Chicken, food prices, Jake J. Maderazo, Nancy Binay, Pork, Power supply, rice, Sharp Edges, Vegetables
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