April 29, 2024 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 130 views

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Monday reaffirmed his commitment to fight hoarding, profiteering and smuggling of agricultural products, making it a top priority of the House of Representatives.

“Tuloy ang laban natin kontra sa mga hoarders, profiteers, at smugglers ng mga agricultural products,” Speaker Romualdez said in his speech during the resumption of legislative session.

He continued, “Hahabulin natin ang mga nagsasamantala sa presyo ng mga bilihin. Hindi natin papayagan na ordinaryong Pilipino ang maghihirap dahil lamang sa pagkaganid nila sa pera.”

Speaker Romualdez reiterated his commitment while expressing deep concern about the widening gap between farmgate and retail prices of essential commodities, especially rice.

He said there will be no let up in the fight against hoarding, profiteering, and smuggling of agricultural products, ensuring fair prices for both farmers and consumers.

“The discrepancy between farmgate and retail prices of basic goods is alarming and warrants immediate attention,” Speaker Romualdez said.

“We cannot ignore the plight of our farmers who are struggling to make ends meet, nor can we turn a blind eye to the burden placed on consumers,” he added.

To address this pressing issue, the House Committee on Trade and Industry convened on Monday to receive briefings from relevant government agencies regarding the implementation of laws and programs governing pricing mechanisms and regulations for basic necessities and prime commodities.

Speaker Romualdez indicated that the briefing marked the start of a congressional inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the widening gap between farmgate and retail prices of rice and other essential goods.

He noted the stability of farmgate prices for rice, poultry, pork, and onions over the past three months, indicating that there should be no sudden increase in the prices of these items.

The House chief stressed the need for legislative action to protect the interests of both producers and consumers, emphasizing the role of oversight in ensuring a fair and transparent trading environment.

Citing the need for collaboration among various stakeholders, Speaker Romualdez urged government agencies, industry representatives, and consumer advocacy groups to actively participate in the investigation and contribute to the formulation of effective policy interventions.

“We must identify and address loopholes that contribute to profiteering and unfair pricing practices within the supply chain,” he said.

“At the end of the day, we want to make sure that all the stakeholders in whatever industry or sectors are viable, if they are in the business side of it, so that it becomes sustainable so that we can continue delivering basic goods and services to the consumers at sustainable, affordable prices,” he pointed out.