Business, consumer groups urge gov’t to act on ‘egg-flation’
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), as well as two consumer groups are calling on the government to immediately act on the reported rising price and low supply of eggs in the local market, saying the issue should be addressed before it hatches into an even bigger problem.
PCCI president George Barcelon told the Inquirer that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) should work together to immediately address the issue as they expect it to negatively impact both businesses and the consumers if it worsens.
“The DA should act on the supply side while the DTI should take care of the trade side,” he said in a phone interview when sought for comment on how the government should approach the matter.
“It’s like the onion [issue]. If it’s not properly mitigated, we could have runaway prices soon,” the PCCI official added, saying that high prices may also lead people to hoarding the agricultural commodity.
The DA recently set a price watch on eggs by reconvening the Price and Volume Watch Committee and Advisory Groups for Livestock and Poultry amid the noticeable increase in prices.
As of Jan. 13, Friday, the price of a single, medium-sized egg in markets in Metro Manila ranges from P7 to as high as P9 per piece, up from only P6 per piece recorded in the same period last year.
Rights Action Philippines media relations officer Ferdie Ferido calls the phenomenon “egg-flation,” adding that the issue will have a domino effect if the problem is not solved soon.
“We know that the cheapest source of protein is egg. It is also one of the most versatile ingredients of many foods: plain bread, cakes, pastries, as a side food on hot meals, and even on powdered drinks and instant noodles,” Ferido said in a message sent to the Inquirer.
“From its simplest form until it becomes a key ingredient, it is important,” he added.
To help address the problem, Ferido said the government should closely watch the supply and should not rely solely on importation if possible.
Similarly, the Alliance of Concerned Consumers in the Philippines (ACCOP) said in another message to the Inquirer that it was high time that the government—through the DA and other concerned agencies—closely monitor the prices of eggs to prevent price manipulation by unscrupulous manufacturers and suppliers.
“Perhaps the government should have a regular inventory of poultry across the country to determine if there is indeed a shortage in the supply of eggs so that it could implement preemptive measures,” said ACCOP convenor Ritchie Horario.