Body to ensure price stability of basic goods in Cebu created
The Cebu Provincial government has created a price coordinating council to ensure price stability of prime commodities within the province amid the reported 6.4 percent national inflation rate.
This developed after the Office of the Governor issued on Tuesday (Sept. 18) an executive order creating the Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC).
“Tungod kay karon, more than in any other period in time, nakita man gyod nato ang sitwasyon. (Because now more than any other period in time, we see the situation) There is the sense of urgency. The governor, acting on this matter therefore made this executive order,” said Orvi Ortega, Cebu Provincial Legal Officer.
The PPCC will be chaired by Governor Hilario Davide III with the regional director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) as Vice Chairman and composed of regional directors of the Department of Agriculture (DA-7), Department of Health (DOH-7), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7), Department of Energy (DOE-7) and the National Economic and Development Authority.
Representatives of the consumers’, agricultural producers’, traders’, manufacturers’ and retailers’ sector will also be appointed as members of the council based on nominations submitted by their organizations.
An initial meeting with Capitol officials and DTI-7 Regional Director Asteria Caberte was held yesterday in preparation of the first meeting of the PPCC today, September 19.
The PPCC will mainly focus on monitoring the prices of basic commodities and come up with programs that will stabilize the prices in the market.
“Ang status pod sa supply [ilang] ma-monitor. i-monitor nila aron pagtan-aw kung ang supply igo ba ug malikayan nga dunay mga artificial shortage nga mahitabo tungod sa mga hoarding,” said Ortega, who attended the initial meeting in behalf of Davide.
(They will also monitor the supply of goods if it is enough and make sure that no artificial shortage will surface due to hoarding activities.)
At present, Caberte said that only minimal movement in the prices of prime commodities had been observed in the region.
Of the 183 product brands identified by DTI as basic goods, Caberte said only seven brands had increased its prices by about P1 to P2 in the past months, which she described as not alarming.
Caberte also said that the commitment of the DTI officials and traders in Manila to uphold the present prices of goods for the next three months had been expected to trickle down in the regional level.
In the case of rice products, Caberte said that they had already coordinated with the National Food Authority (NFA) to monitor the supply of rice in the market.
“What I’m trying to say is that there is not even a need to freeze the price to solve this. Flood the market with P32-rice and the prices of commercial rice will go down,” said Caberte.
Caberte said they already agreed to fast-tract the accreditation of new NFA retailers for more access to a cheaper rice supply.
Ortega added that since the creation of the council had been backed by the Price Act of 1992, the council would become institutionalized and might ask the provincial board to enact legislations that would sanction erring businesses or those that would impose excessive prices on commodities and engage in hoarding.
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