Govt asked for stable food prices for Christmas

Asia's Tech News Daily

SEN. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Saturday challenged all government agencies to prevent increases in food prices and ensure that supplies are stable. Pangilinan issued the statement as world prices marked a 10-year high in November and the Christmas season tending to raise food prices as well.

“I am calling on the agencies of the government to intensify the monitoring of prices of commodities and maintain it at the right level. The increase in food prices in the international market in November is the highest in 10 years,” he said.

Pangilinan was able to bring down rice prices during his stint as food security secretary by a combination of proper law enforcement and an open, transparent and kickback-free importation.

“We suspended the licenses of the abusive traders. We filed cases against them and their cohort NFA (National Food Authority) managers in NCR (National Capital Region), Regions 3 (Central Luzon), 5 (Bicol), 8 (Eastern Visayas) and 9 (Zamboanga),” he said. As food security secretary, Pangilinan headed the NFA Council.

Pangilinan said that the government must also curb what has become seasonal increases in food prices during the Christmas holidays.

“While the increase in prices of local food items is seasonal due to the high demand during the Christmas season, we are appealing to some not to take advantage of the rising food prices in the international market,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said the Team Robredo-Pangilinan, in its Kalayaan sa Covid plan, would focus on the agriculture and fisheries sector.

“Vice President [Maria Leonor] Leni Robredo has pledged that she will double the budget for the agriculture sector in her first year in office. That promise translates to P116 billion for the agriculture and fisheries sector in her first year alone. Currently, the agriculture sector has only 1.7 percent of the national budget,” he said.

“A stable and adequate agricultural harvest and fisheries sector’s catch is crucial to ensure that food supply in the country will not be disrupted. A stable and adequate agricultural harvest and fisheries sector’s catch is key to the food security of the entire nation,” he added.

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