By Madelaine B. Miraflor
To avoid overpricing in the market, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are now making computations as to how much Suggested Retail Price (SRP) to impose on basic food commodities like rice, vegetables, and fish.
This was amid concerns on the rising prices of basic crops, which is being blamed to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law — the first tax reform to be implemented in the Philippines in many years.
"Basically, we agree that there should be an SRP on basic commodities like rice, vegetables and fish," Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said. "As a whole, the different sectors supported the idea of having an SRP."
This was discussed during the multi-sectoral consultation meeting on the setting of SRPs on agriculture commodities.
The meeting was led by officials from the DA, DTI, and Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA).
Piñol said that as of now, the SRPs that are going to be imposed are still being computed.
"The reason why we invited the stakeholders because we asked them how much would they need to produce one kilo of and how much the farm grade of rice is... and so that we will be able to come up with the computations on how much we should dictate to the market," Piñol said.
Piñol said that businessmen are using TRAIN law as an excuse to increase the prices of the agriculture commodities they are selling.
"They are blaming the TRAIN law, they are blaming the oil price hike. They will always have a way of justifying the increase in the price of the items in the market. And they would always point out all of these things," he further said.
As of now, the government imposes a penalty of P1,000 to P1 million for those who would sell products beyond their respective SRPs.
Piñol said the Technical Working Group assigned to look at this matter is targeting to formulate the SRPs by next week.