WITH prices of commodities expected to rise as the holiday season approaches, Malacañang called on government agencies to keep a tight watch on prices to prevent abuse and possible manipulation by unscrupulous traders.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Thursday also said President Benigno Aquino 3rd will continue to keep tab of the prices following the Justice department’s findings that the recent hike in the prices of garlic and other commodities was “deliberate.”
“As recently as last week, the President ordered all agencies, particularly the Department of Agriculture, to monitor the supply and price situation, especially with the Christmas season nears and demand increases,” Coloma said.
He said that pork, for instance, will naturally become more expensive because it is the main ingredient in processing ham. Demand for chicken will peak during the so-called ber months from September to December, and until the holidays are over.
In the case of garlic, Coloma said the discovery of collusion among traders was the outcome of the continuing efforts of government “to stop abuses that produce disadvantage and detriment to our populace.”
“If you will recall last month and in earlier instances, the President called meetings among the concerned agencies to be able to determine the causes of unusual price movements. And the President continues to monitor this matter because it is of primary importance to the government that there are no abuses, especially as this concerns prime commodities that are on the food table of Filipino families everyday,” he said.
The Agriculture department under its two secretaries, Proceso Alcala and Francis Pangilinan, has been directed to look out for movements in the agriculture sector where previous controversies originated.