DA to recommend price freeze on basic agricultural products

Published June 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is planning to implement a price freeze on basic agricultural products to ensure their availability at reasonable prices even after most parts of the country transitioned to general community quarantine.

“We have reviewed the agricultural products’ suggested retail price (SRP) vis-a-vis price freeze. We found that the price freeze has more teeth than the SRP, that is why we are planning to recommend it for consideration of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) and Malacañang,” DA Secretary William Dar said in a DZBB interview on Saturday (June 6).

Under Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, the prices of basic necessities in an area shall be automatically be frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control whenever an area is proclaimed or declared a disaster area or placed under a state of calamity.

The DA has the power to implement a suggested retail price anytime “for the information and guidance of producers, manufacturers, traders, dealers, sellers, retailers and consumers.”

Current SRPs

A prevailing SRP on certain agricultural products has been in effect since March during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.

The SRPs for basic agricultural and fishery goods are as follows:

milkfish or bangus (cage-cultured)- P162 per kilogram (kg);
tilapia (pond-cultured, fresh-chilled) – P120 per kg;
imported roundscad or galunggong – P130 per kg;
local galunggong – P130 per kg;
pork (pigue/kasim) – P190 per kg;
pork liempo – P225 per kg;
chicken (whole) – P130 per kg;
sugar (refined) – P50 per kg;
sugar (brown) – P45 per kg;
fresh red onion – P95 per kg;
fresh garlic (imported variety) – P70 per kg;
fresh garlic (local variety) – P120 per kg;
chicken egg (medium) – P6.50 per piece;
30 mL cooking oil – P24;
1 liter cooking oil – P50.

In addition, the DA has issued SRPs for imported rice:

special (P51 per kg);
premium (P42 per kg) ;
well-milled (P40 per kg);
regular (P39 per kg).

The SRPs for local rice are:

special (P53 per kg);
premium (P45 per kg);
well-milled (P40 per kg);
regular (P33 per kg).