Penalty awaits price freeze violators

Published November 19, 2020, 12:50 PM

by Richa Noriega

The Department of Agriculture vowed Wednesday to strictly monitor markets following a price freeze after President Duterte declared a state of calamity in Luzon.

A vegetable seller tends to a client at Paco Market. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
A vegetable seller tends to a client at Paco Market.

“The President’s declaration of a state of calamity is a big welcome sa atin sa agrikultura, kasi mas may ngipin na tayo sa pag-momonitor ng prices (We have authority in monitoring prices). This means the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) has to be sustained. Kung ano ang presyo bago nag-bagyo, iyon din ang presyo na ipapatupad naming (The price of commodities should be as they were before the typhoon),” DA Secretary William Dar said.

Dar urged the Bantay Presyo Task Force to ensure that wet markets and other platforms are following the government’s SRP.

“The full force of the law is in effect. Kung tayo ay sumusuway, ang batas ang ating kalaban, meaning dapat sundin natin angintents and purposes ng price freeze. Sa gayon, ang presyo bago nagka-bagyo ang masusunod (We must follow the price freeze so that prices should be as they were before the typhoon),” he said.

The DA has rolled out another Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Wednesday at the Agribusiness Development Center (ADC) to stabilize prices and ensure accessibility of affordable, nutritious food in Metro Manila.

The DA’s program Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita aims to buy farm products on a wholesale basis from farmers and retailed to consumers on affordable prices in Metro Manila and other key areas nationwide.

 “Tutulong tayo sa pag-maintain ng presyo at pag-mobilize ng mga produkto (We will help maintain prices and mobilize the products). With Kadiwa mobilization and facilitation, we will bring the producers and the main suppliers of these commodities directly to the public,” Dar said.

Duterte placed the entire Luzon under a state of calamity to facilitate the swift relief and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit communities.

A price freeze on rice, eggs, fresh pork and beef, essential medicines, household Liquified Petroleum Gas and other basic goods and commodities was imposed afterwards.

READ MORE: DA to strictly implement price freeze on agri-fishery products