Imee: Stop Runaway Food Prices At Wet Markets

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“DA and DTI, anyone price watching?”

Despite a Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report Thursday that inflation grew by only 2.5% in October, Senator Imee Marcos said real prices charged at wet markets today were far higher due to the effects of typhoons Quinta and Rolly.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, called on the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to take action against possible profiteering which causes runaway prices.

“The DA and DTI should not wait for the PSA’s next report in early December before figuring out the range of suggested retail prices (SRPs) for pork, chicken, beef, fish and vegetables,” Marcos said.

A survey of wet market prices in Quezon City, San Mateo, and Manila conducted by Marcos’s office revealed that vegetable prices have gone up by 33.3% to as high as 200%.

Per kilo prices of cabbage rose from Php60 to Php100, carrots from Php60 to Php80, onions from Php180 to Php260, potatoes from Php40 to Php70, cucumber from Php40 to Php70, Baguio beans from Php80 to Php160, red bell pepper from Php160 to Php300, and green pepper from Php100 to Php300.

Contrary to the 3.7% inflation rate on fish reported by the PSA, prices have already gone up by 25% to 33.3%, with frozen galunggong now selling for Php260 per kilo from the previous Php200, matambaka now Php300 from Php240, yellowfin tuna now Php300 from Php240, and hasa-hasa now Php320 from Php240.

The PSA’s reported meat index inflation of 4.7% is grossly out of synch with the 13.3% to 100% increase in wet market prices of pork, poultry, and beef.

Pork, which used to cost Php240 per kilo, now sells for Php280 to Php320 – an increase of 17% to 30%.

Chicken prices now range from Php120 to as high as Php260 per kilo, from the previous range of Php100 to Php130 – an increase of 20% to 100%.

Beef now costs Php340 to Php370 per kilo, from the previous Php300 – an increase of 13.3% to 23.3%.

“Where are the price monitors when they’re needed most?” Marcos asked.