Despite DA’s SRPs, food prices remain high | Inquirer Business
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Despite DA’s SRPs, food prices remain high

By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 04:05 AM December 16, 2020

Prices of agricultural commodities and other basic food items in public markets remain above the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) suggested retail prices (SRPs) more than two weeks since they were imposed.

And with just over a week before Christmas, pricier food items may mean lesser food in Filipino households’ annual holiday spreads.

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Based on the agency’s price watch, the prevailing rates for pork, chicken, and selected fruits and vegetables in Metro Manila’s public markets as of Dec. 14 were still above the SRPs and beyond the 10-percent margin under the Price Act.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista earlier said the price adjustments were in response to the changing cost structures in the supply chain. Hence, the need to impose relatively higher SRPs.

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However, rates in the market are still in violation of the latest price scheme.

For instance, the price of a kilo of pork ham and pork belly, under the SRP, must be P260 and P290, respectively. On the average, however, these were being sold for P290 to P320 per kilo.

A whole chicken was also being sold at an average of P170 against the SRP of P140. Meanwhile, the prevailing rate for a kilo of galunggong was P240, way higher than the SRP of P140.

The same is true with vegetable prices. As of Dec. 14, cabbage was being sold at an average of P120 a kilo against an SRP of P70 a kilo while pechay, supposedly P80 a kilo, was being sold for P130 a kilo on average.

Local and imported red onion were also priced at an average of P200 and P180 a kilo, respectively, even with an SRP of P160 and P120.

Commodities that were sold within the range of DA’s price points per kilo were ampalaya (P120), sitao (P100), eggplant (P100), chayote (P40), bangus (P160), tilapia (P120), and beef brisket (P300).

At a press briefing on Tuesday, Evangelista said the agency was positive that prices, especially of vegetables, would stabilize soon as major food-producing regions like Calabarzon were beginning to recover from the adverse effects of the recent typhoons.

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In November, prices have gone up by as much as 60 percent.

She added that “there is no reason for prices to move up” when there was sufficient supply that are being delivered on time. The DA’s goal, for now, is to maintain the decline in food prices while ensuring that farmers are judiciously earning. INQ

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TAGS: Business, Department of Agriculture’s (DA), food, retail prices (SRPs)
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