Duterte OKs creation of task group vs agri smugglers, profiteers
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the creation of a task group to go after smugglers, profiteers, and hoarders of agricultural products, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Thursday.
The government task force on economic intelligence will be led by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Its member agencies include the following:
- Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
- National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
- Philippine National Police (PNP)
- Bureau of Customs (BOC)
- Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)
- National Security Council (NSC)
- National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA)
“Kung mayroong mga grupo o negosyante na pinagsasamantalahan ang pandemya para pagkakitaan ang taumbayan, hindi po ito palalampasin,” Nograles said in a press briefing.
(If there are groups or businessmen who take advantage of the pandemic to squeeze profit out of our countrymen, we will not let this pass.)
Duterte has also backed the Department of Agriculture’s recommendation to look into expanding the minimum access volume for pork products to address the shortfall of supply this year.
Nograles said the Philippines has a projected demand of 1.6 million metric tons while the current MAV for pork is at 54,210 metric tons.
The DA earlier said it aims to triple the MAV for pork.
In a bid to tame the skyrocketing prices of pork and chicken, President Duterte has imposed a 60-day price cap on the said products in Metro Manila.
Executive Order No. 124 set price ceilings of P270 a kilo for “kasim/pigue” and P300 per kilo for “liempo,” and P160 a kilo for dressed chicken, against the current rates of P440 and P200, respectively, in public markets.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said imported pork sold in supermarkets will also be subjected to the 60-day price cap.
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