Consumer group calls for transparency on alleged manipulation of pork prices

Marje Pelayo   •   February 24, 2021   •   380

MANILA, Philippines — A consumer group is asking the government to release the result of its investigation on the alleged manipulation of pork prices and supply in the country. 

Laban Konsyumer wants to put an end to the allegation of price and supply manipulation of pork in the country.

Laban Konsyumer president, Atty. Vic Dimagiba, said that if the result of the investigation proves that the price of pork is reasonable, consumer confidence will be regained.

Should there be no manipulation, the names of the businessmen would be cleared.

“Kailangan ang mga tao dapat managot kung may mananagot, whether private individuals or public officials,” Dimagiba said.

“Iyong nagkulang sa paggawa niya ng trabaho ay ilabas na at magsampa ng kaso kung meron naman. kung wala naman isara na nila yung imbestigasyon dahil mabalik din naman yung tiwala ng mga negosyante na hindi sila pinagsisishan ng pamahalaan,” he added.

The group also stands on the side of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the implementation of the price ceiling.

The DA said that the intervention is effective because it already decreased the prices of pork by P100 per kilogram.

“Sa monitoring namin meron pang nagtitinda P350 to P360 pero wala na yung P400 to P450. In effect the price ceiling is successful kasi marami pa rin naman bumebenta ng P270 to P300 na sumusunod,” explained DA Asec. Arnel de Mesa.

On the other hand, Manny Pereja, the market master in Las Piñas Market has filed a petition before the Supreme Court to stop the price ceiling.

“Iyan ang pinaka last resort na nakikita ko na kwestyunin ang Constitutionality ng batas na iyan dahil hindi naman nagre-reflect talaga sa tunay na estado ng ating bilihan talaga o nung hog industry,” Pereja said.

DA officials, however, assure that there will be enough supply in the coming days.

“Ginarantiya na meron na tayong enough supply tomorrow, 100% sa requirement nila,” National Coordinator of DA-Bantay Presyo Jerry Pelayo said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Presyo ng baboy, posible pang tumaas habang papalapit ang holiday season – DA

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Tumaas ang presyo ng karne ng baboy sa ilang pamilihan sa Metro Manila.

Sa ulat ni Aileen Cerrudo sa UNTV C-News, sinasabing umaabot sa P20 hanggang P60 ang presyo ng karne ng baboy.

Sa Mega Q Mart, nasa P420 ang presyo ng kada kilo ng liempo, P350-P360 naman ang halaga ng kada kilo ng kasim.

Sa Commonwealth Market, hanggang P320 ang halaga ng liempo at nasa P360 naman ang kasim.

Nasa P390 ang presyo ng kada kilo ng liempo habang nasa P300 to P340 ang presyo ng kasim sa Malabon Central Market.

Sa Munoz at Guadalupe Market naman, umiikot sa P360 hanggang P380 ang kada kilo ng liempo habang nasa P320 at P330 naman ang kasim.

Ayon sa Department of Agriculture (DA), ito ay bunsod ng kakulangan pa rin sa supply ng baboy dahil sa epekto ng African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

Ayon sa DA, posible pang tumaas ang presyo ng baboy sa pagsapit ng buwan ng Disyembre dahil sa inaasahang pagtaas ng demand kaugnay ng holiday season.

Consumer group urges ERC to have GenCos’ penalty refunded to consumers

Marje Pelayo   •   June 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Consumer group Laban Konsyumer is expecting a surge in power charges following a series of rotational outages.

According to Atty. Vic Dimagiba, power rates are higher if the supply is thin and those who suffer are the consumers who carry the burden of increased energy rates.

Thus, Dimagiba appeals to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to refund consumers the penalty that the generation companies (GenCos) should pay the agency for the unplanned outages.

This penalty may reach up to a hundred million or billions of pesos, Dimagiba said.

“Ang consumers ang laging napeperwisyo. Tayo naman po ang nagbabayad ng kuryente kaya kung mumultahan ang 17 kumpanyang ito yun pong multa na yun ang dapat makinabang ay consumers din hindi po yung National Treasury,” he said.

In a statement, ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera noted that GenCos have gone beyond the allowable unplanned outages for this year.

This prompted the ERC to direct GenCos to submit an explanation for the matter within seven days from receipt of the notice of non-compliance.

But Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi argued they are still waiting for a report from ERC.

“That is being studied by ERC and we are just waiting for their findings, for their recommendations,” Cusi said.

“Nasa batas po kasi yan, so kapag ginawa po yan ng executive, baka mamya ma-anti graft naman po ang executive,” added Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

ERC Regulation number 10 Series of 2020 has set maximum allowable unplanned outages for each generation plant to ensure enough energy supply in the country and to apprehend GenCos, Systems Operators, and transmission network providers in case of violation. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DA to impose SRP on imported pork beginning April 9

Marje Pelayo   •   April 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) will be imposing a suggested retail price (SRP) on imported pork which is now cheaper than locally produced meat.

At present, the price of kasim is P270 per kilogram; while liempo costs P350 per kilogram.

Likewise, the DA will require importers and retailers to put proper labeling in each package for easy distinction and for the protection of consumers.

“The DA thru the NMIS-the National Meat Inspection Service will require importers to package their pork, of course, those 2 categories– Liempo or Kasim, into salable packages of 1 kilo or 500 grams,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Thursday (April 8) is the last day of a two-month implementation of the price cap on pork and poultry meat.

The DA plans to focus on additional strategies to prevent a further spike in the prices of such commodities.

The DA sees a possible importation of pork meat and a lowering of tariff.

But while this strategy remains pending approval, the DA will continue transporting pork from African Swine Fever-free provinces to Metro Manila to stabilize supply.

The agency also sees the repopulation of pigs in ASF-free areas.

“Iyong dati, iyong price cap will not solve the problem. Ang bottom line pa rin ay supply,” noted Dar.

“Price capping is just one of the measures. So to stabilize prices talaga you have to complete those other measures to be in place,” he added.

The DA has allocated P45-M for the procurement of freezers which will be provided to retailers.

A compliance monitoring team will also be created to ensure that retailers are observing and following the SRP.

For its part, the Trade Department hopes that an additional supply of pork will help stabilize the prices.

“I think P320 to P350 hopefully will be the ideal price moving forward. Given maybe the expected supply asahan natin na dyan po iikot ang presyo in a way medyo istable na,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

But for consumers, the implementation of the price cap remains best as they hope to hear the result of the investigation on the alleged manipulation in pork prices as soon as possible.

“Dito sa SRP suggested di ba? Suggested retail prices. So malikot pa rin ang presyo sa palengke,” said the group’s representative Atty. Vic Dimagiba. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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