PASAY CITY — Recognizing the significance of ensuring a stable and reliable food supply in the country, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is taking proactive measures to address the challenges and uncertainties posed by the current global developments.

During the State of the Nation Address, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. stated, “In our quest for food security, our methods are now more guided by science and the balance of nature, so that production is both sustainable and responsible, benefiting both this and future generations.”

Republic Act No. 7581, as amended by R.A. 10623, or the Price Act, provides the DTI and other implementing agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Energy (DOE), the mandate of ensuring the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) at reasonable prices at all times without denying legitimate businesses a fair return on investment.

Food items that DTI regularly monitors include canned fish and meat; bread; coffee; and instant noodles, among others while rice, corn, fresh pork, poultry, beef, fish, eggs, fruits, milk, and sugar are under the DA’s purview.  

To ensure reasonable prices, the DTI regularly monitors BNPCs. During times of crisis or emergency, the agency works to enforce price ceilings and acts against profiteering and price manipulation. Further, the DTI continues its implementing measures on the SRP of BNPCs to mitigate the effects of inflation and ensure the affordability of BNPCs for most Filipinos.

Further, the DTI promptly addresses unreasonable price increases and supply issues to stabilize essential commodity prices by monitoring and evaluating market prices. Collaborations with both the public and private sectors have enhanced the availability and distribution of BNPCs, ensuring they remain accessible to low- and middle-income families.

Secretary Fred Pascual highlights the Department’s conduct of Diskwento Caravan and Presyong Risonable Dapat Programs for rice, sugar, and frozen meat products to provide consumers access to affordable yet high-quality basic goods.

The DTI also participated in the Kadiwa ng Pangulo that combines the DA’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita, the DTI’s Diskwento Caravan, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Labor and Employment’s assistance programs to provide the general public with discounted access to quality BNPCs, promote local products, and assist local farmers, fishermen, manufacturers, and micro, small, and medium enterprises.

According to President Marcos, more than 7,000 KADIWA initiatives were successfully organized across the Philippines, significantly benefitting the lives of 1.8 million families.

With the price surge of wheat during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Philippine Baking Industry Group (PhilBaking), the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and the DTI collaborated to introduce the Pinoy Coco Pandesal to the market. This innovative product comprises 10% coconut flour and 90% wheat flour. The initiative proved a significant breakthrough, yielding benefits for local coconut producers.

Meanwhile, in response to farmers’ challenges with accessing markets and acquiring fair prices for their produce, the DTI launched an initiative to improve the distribution of agricultural commodities, particularly onions. The “Farmer Retail Market Program”, a contract farming program, aims to link onion farmers and institutional buyers directly. This program ensures a consistent supply of local onions, especially during lean months.

The DTI also co-chaired the Sub-Task Group on Economic Intelligence (STG-EI) to help law enforcers catch smugglers of agricultural products. The strengthening of intelligence gathering and consultative meetings undertaken with agri-fisheries stakeholders identified agri-produce shipments suspected of technical smuggling.

Likewise, the regular convening of the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC), chaired by the DTI, to discuss updates on the supply and prices of BNPCs and formulate the necessary action plans and integrated approaches helps address food security challenges.

The DTI supports agribusinesses, including farmers and food processors, through capacity-building programs, technology adoption, and market linkages. These initiatives aim to enhance agricultural productivity, improve post-harvest practices, and promote the growth of food-related enterprises.

The SSF Program, on the other hand, provides shared facilities and equipment to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) involved in food processing and agribusiness. As of May 2023, the DTI had successfully established 3,525 SSF projects, benefitting a total of 607,702 MSMEs and other users and creating 331,884 jobs. This support helps improve productivity, product quality, and competitiveness in the food sector.

The DTI shall continue its food security programs and initiatives while prioritizing rigorous evaluation to measure their effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. With this, the DTI can make well-informed decisions based on concrete evidences to ensure that these programs meet the unique needs of each community and effectively address regional disparities by utilizing robust data collection and analysis. Collaborating closely with local stakeholders and MSMEs will further enhance the impact of these initiatives, empowering MSMEs through innovation and technology adoption, which increases productivity and competitiveness in the market.

Additionally, the DTI’s efforts to promote access to affordable finance and provide capacity-building opportunities will support the growth and sustainability of MSMEs involved in food security efforts. Facilitating market linkages and building strategic partnerships with the private sector will amplify the positive outcomes of these programs. Through these actions, the DTI can continue positively impacting food security while nurturing the growth of MSMEs throughout the Philippines.

Everyone is encouraged to follow the DTI’s Consumer Care official social media accounts for more information. For consumer-related concerns and queries, send an email to or call the One-DTI (1-384) Hotline. ♦

Date of release: 25 July 2023