(File photo)

MANILA – The House Committee on Agriculture and Food on Friday said it is set to conduct a hearing on rising food prices such as meat and vegetables next Tuesday (February 2).

Committee chair Mark Enverga said the hearing would be conducted upon the instructions of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

Enverga said the committee would be tasked to assess current data on the current supply and demand of all agricultural goods and to find a solution to the current predicament of both suppliers and consumers.

Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano led the filing of a resolution asking the House of Representatives to lead efforts to control the soaring prices of basic goods.

House Resolution 1515 stressed that the House must investigate this issue to determine what actions the government has taken to address the matter and what other policies and programs must be pursued to sustainably feed the country’s growing population in the new normal.

Among the price hikes highlighted in the resolution are chili, a kilo of which now costs between PHP600 and PHP800, and pork belly (liempo), the price of which has risen to around PHP400 in major public markets in the National Capital Region.

Cayetano said the increase in prices of basic goods is “being felt deeply by millions of Filipinos who were rendered jobless, poor, and hungry by the pandemic and made homeless by recent typhoons and natural disasters.”

“With a third of Filipino households reporting hunger and a quarter of businesses wiped out last year, the upward trend in the prices of our basic goods is another tragedy in the making,” he said.

For January 2021, the prices of most meats and vegetables have spiked by up to 66 percent, the Department of Agriculture’s price watch has reported.

The increasing prices of food products have already pushed the country’s inflation rate to 3.5 percent last December, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas linked recent price hikes to increasing prices of oil and agricultural goods.

Co-authoring the resolution were Taguig Rep. Lani Cayetano, Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte, Jr., Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu, Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez, Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio “Kuya” Sy-Alvarado, and ANAKALUSUGAN Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor. (PNA)