DA, DTI to set standard retail prices for basic farm goods
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will set standard retail prices for basic agricultural goods to protect consumers from “profiteering” by some industry players.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said unscrupulous traders had been using as excuses the rising oil prices and the implementation of the government’s tax reform law in raising the prices of basic commodities like rice, vegetable, fish, egg, poultry, livestock and sugar.
But Piñol said a recent meeting with the industry’s stakeholders revealed that while retail prices were rising, farm-gate prices for the commodities remained stable, reflecting a “flaw in the supply chain.”
“That’s the reason why we called the meeting. We would like to determine what triggered these increments. And this early, it’s all about finding a scapegoat to increase their profits,” Piñol said, referring to some traders and middlemen.
“There’s really a flaw in the supply chain between the producers and the consumers … Traders control the buying price and selling price [of goods],” he added.
Piñol clarified that the rise in prices were not caused by the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, but rather due to “speculations” of shortage.
“There is really no shortage … The movement of the price in the market is more likely caused by speculation,” he said. —KARL R. OCAMPO