News Column

Philippines : Impose SRP on basic and prime agricultural commodities

July 2, 2014

Two House committees today, in a formal Resolution, jointly urged the President to impose a suggested retail price (SRP) on basic and prime agricultural commodities to provide immediate relief to Filipinos in the wake of spiralling prices.

The House Committee on Agriculture and Food chaired by Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza and the Special Committee on Food Security chaired by Rep. Agapito Guanlao approved the still unnumbered resolution during their second joint hearing Tuesday.

The House Resolution is entitled "Resolution urging the President to provide immediate relief to the consumers by directing the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), National Food Authority (NFA) and other concerned government agencies to impose a suggested retail price (SRP) on basic and prime agricultural commodities."

The July 1st hearing was attended by Secretary Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, Presidential Adviser on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, newly appointed NFA Administrator Arthur Juan, Usec. Victorio Dimagiba of DTI, Commissioner Jessie Dellosa of the Bureau of Customs and officials from other concerned agencies.

Also in attendance were Mr. Antonio Rola, chairman of the National Mango Action Team and Ms. Leah Cruz of the National Onion Action Team, among others.

The joint panel members present who actively voiced their respective concerns and proposals which helped craft the resolution were: Deputy Speaker Carlos M. Padilla; Rep. Evelina Escudero; Rep. Randolph Ting; Rep. Gary Alejano; Rep. Jose Tejada; Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza; Rep. Pryde Henry Teves; Rep. Peter Unabia; Rep. Ben Evardone; Rep. Neri Colmenares; Rep. Rico Geron; and Rep. Sharon Garin, among others.

Sec. Pangilinan and other officials expressed support for the House joint-panel initiative relative to the option of imposing a suggested retail price scheme to curb the rising prices of basic food items, especially rice, garlic, sugar, and other prime commodities.

The House Resolution stressed: "It is the policy of the State to provide effective and sufficient protection to consumers against hoarding, profiteering and cartels with respect to the supply, distribution, marketing and pricing of said goods, especially during periods of calamity, emergency, widespread illegal price manipulation and other similar situations."

The "Price Act" or R.A. 7581 was signed into law on May 27, 1992 to provide consumer protection by stabilizing the price and supply of basic necessities and prime commodities and prescribing measures against undue increase especially during emergencies, the Resolution said.

"Recent increases in the prices of rice, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, and garlic, among others, clearly shows acts of hoarding and price manipulation," the resolution noted.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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