On 9 February 2021, a day after the official implementation of Executive Order (EO) 124, mandating the imposition of mandated price ceiling on selected pork and chicken products in the National Capital Region (NCR), Secretary Ramon M. Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), being the Chairperson of the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) and the Sub-Task Group on Economic Intelligence (Econ Intel), deployed the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), headed by Director Ronnel O. Abrenica, to assist the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the conduct of special price and supply monitoring of agricultural products in one wet market in Quezon City and one supermarket in Mandaluyong City.

Present during said activity were DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, DA Secretary William D. Dar, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benjamin Abalos, Jr. and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.  The Team monitored several meat stalls in the subject wet market to check their compliance with the recently issued EO 124 as signed by the President, imposing mandated price ceiling of P160 for a kilo of chicken, P270 per kilo for pork shoulder, and P300 for pork belly, respectively. The aforementioned wet market was found to be compliant as declared by FTEB monitoring and enforcement team.

“We will be issuing a resolution directing private market owners to temporarily waive the leasing fees of the vendors,” Quezon City (QC) Mayor Joy Belmonte states. This resolution by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of QC intends to lessen the undue burden of wet market vendors.

Market Visits

“With the discussion we have with MMDA Chair Abalos and DA’s Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC), we will be providing zero-interest financial loans to market vendors’ associations in Metro Manila public market as our way of assistance to hog raisers and to ensure that vendors will comply with the EO,” DA Secretary Dar declares.

Subsequently, DTI and DA, as graced by Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita Abalos, conducted on-the-spot checking on the price and supply of Agri Products in one of the supermarkets in Mandaluyong City. Prices in the monitored supermarket generally followed the prescribed price cap on fresh pork and dressed chicken. Aside from its compliance remark, the monitoring and enforcement team also observed that the establishment offers much lower rates than the imposed price ceiling– which is good news and beneficial to the public.

In addition, a new batch of imported pork will be arriving in the country soon, according to DTI Secretary Lopez. Granted that this solution is only temporary, it is still the fastest and the most efficient way to beef up pork supply for our retailers and consumers. The cost of the imported pork will be based on its landed cost and the lower the landed cost, the cheaper it will be sold by the retailers as well.

“It is important to give our consumers options when buying basic necessities. Providing such choices would encourage other vendors to adjust and lower their pricing, thus, a competition will be established in the market,” DTI Secretary Lopez underscores.

Moreover, the joint efforts of concerned agencies aim to create an efficient wholesaling, processing, and distribution of Agri Products across the country.

“DTI will intensify engagements with other concerned agencies to continue our mission in providing imperative protection to all Filipinos. We will ensure, to the best of our ability, that basic necessities are still adequate, affordable, and accessible in the market,” DTI – Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo reiterates.

Consumers are encouraged to report any pricing discrepancies on Agri Products by calling the 1-DTI (1-384) Hotline or by sending an email to consumercare@dti.gov.ph. ♦

Date of Release: 16 February 2021