Keep local food prices stable during Christmas season, Pangilinan dares gov't

Published December 4, 2021, 5:18 PM

by Ben Rosario

Vice presidential aspirant Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan dared government agencies to avert increases in food prices and ensure stable supply as world food prices recorded a 10-year-high last month.

Sen. Francis %22Kiko%22 Pangilinan

Pangilinan said the Christmas season also contributes to spike in prices but stressed that government can still do something to cushion the impact of price hikes.

“Nananawagan ako sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno na pag-ibayuhin ang pagmomonitor ng mga presyo ng bilihin at mapanatili ito sa tamang level. (I call on government agencies to work harder in monitoring the price hikes in order that they are maintained on the right level.)” Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture said.

During his stint as food security secretary, Pangilinan succeeded in bringing down rice prices through a combination of proper law enforcement and an open, transparent, and kickback-free importation.

“Sinuspinde natin ang lisensya ng mga nagsasamantalang traders. (We suspended the license of abusive traders.) Kinasuhan natin sila at mga kasabwat nilang (We charged them and their cohorts among) NFA managers sa NCR, Regions 3, 5, 8, at 9,” he said. As food security secretary,” the former head of the National Food Authority Council said.

Pangilinan said that government must also curb what has become seasonal increases in food prices during the Christmas holidays.

“Bagamat seasonal na tumataas ang presyo ng mga lokal na pagkain dahil sa pagtaas ng demand tuwing Kapaskuhan, nakikiusap tayo sa ilan na huwag samantalahin ang pagsipa sa international market ng presyo ng mga pagkain. (Although the rise in prices of locally produced food have become seasonal because of the increase in demand during Christmas, we appeal to that they should not take advantage of the spike in prices in the international market.) ” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said the Team Robredo-Pangilinan, in its Kalayaan sa Covid plan, would focus on the agriculture and fisheries sector.

“Vice President Leni Robredo has pledged that she will double the budget for the agriculture sector in her first year in office. That promise translates to P116 billion for the agriculture and fisheries sector in her first year alone. Currently, the agriculture sector has only 1.7 percent of the national budget,” he said.

 
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