MANILA -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) will be imposing a suggested retail price (SRP) for selected agriculture and fishery products to protect consumers against price irregularities in local markets.
DA Secretary William Dar said under the Price Act, the DA is directed, whenever necessary, to issue SRP for any or all basic necessities and prime commodities under its jurisdiction for the information and guidance of producers, retailers, and consumers.
He said the DA Administrative Circular No. 01 signed on Feb. 20 covers Metro Manila markets only.
The implementing rules and regulations also direct the DA to determine, recommend, and enforce price ceilings when necessary,” Dar added.
Covered are the following food items, with their respective SRP per kilogram (kg):
• Pork (pigue/kasim) - PHP190;
• Chicken (whole, dressed) - PHP130;
• Sugar (raw, brown) - PHP45;
• Sugar (refined) - PHP50;
• Bangus (cage-cultured) - PHP162;
• Tilapia (pond-cultured) - PHP120;
• Galunggong (imported) - PHP130;
• Garlic (imported) - PHP70;
• Garlic (local) - PHP120; and
• Red onion (imported) - PHP95.
"We will conduct regular monitoring of these agri-fishery commodities to protect consumers against hoarding and profiteering of unscrupulous traders and cartels, who manipulate for their advantage the supply, distribution, marketing and prices of basic agri-fishery goods," Dar said.
"The DA is joining forces with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and respective LGUs (local government units) in Metro Manila to strictly monitor the prices in public markets on a regular basis, and impose sanctions on erring retailers," he added.
In setting up the SRP for selected food items, Dar said, concerned government agencies ensure the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all times, without denying legitimate businesses a fair return on their investments.
The SRP circular will be published on Saturday (Feb. 21) in two national newspapers, and takes effect three days after, or on Monday (Feb. 24). (PR)