Palace: Gov’t making sure prices of goods not artificial

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MALACANANG assured Wednesday that concerned government agencies were making sure that prices of goods were not artificial.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the assurance in the wake of the rising prices of some products, such as chicken.

He acknowledged that there were traders who were trying to take advantage of the situation, particularly the congestion in the Port of Manila.

Lacierda said the rising prices of chicken has nothing to do with the port congestion since this product was not imported.

He said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been acting on the rising prices of commodities.

"The DTI has been operating-has been moving and sending them letters. And so, you will see responses there, some prices of some commodities have gone down... DTI is working on making sure that the prices are not artificial," he said.

The Palace official said that the government has been making ways to address also congestion in Manila port as he cited that several ships have already been making port calls in Batangas.

"In fact, this week, walong bapor na po ang nag-a-unload po doon sa Batangas Port. So we're finding all the measures including the situation on the truck ban," he said.

He also cited that the City of Manila would be opening another route for the trucks and the operations in the Port of Manila is now 24/7.

"So we're finding ways and measures to ensure that the concerns that you have will be mitigated and will be minimized. And, hopefully, as we decongest these ports—the Port of Manila—we'll be able to ensure that the fears for inflation will dissipate," Lacierda said.

Also, the Department of Agriculture (DA) assured Wednesday that prices of chicken will stabilize before the start of the holiday season.

Agriculture Undersecretary for livestock Jose Reaño said Typhoon Glenda affected major poultry production areas in Southern Luzon, with losses amounting to about 11 million kilos of chicken to be produced from July to December 2014.

"To be normal again, we should wait up to September. But in September, we assure, on that the time we have enough chicken supply [in Metro Manila]," said Reaño during the budget briefing of the DA at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

He said that the monthly requirement of chicken in the National Capital Region and Greater Metro Manila Area is 20 million kilos.

"Before Glenda we have very normal [supply] chain of chicken but after the typhoon the distributors from southern part of Luzon were unable to deliver chicken to the retailers in Metro Manila markets. So that's disrupt the market," he said.

Poultry farms in the provinces of Quezon, Laguna, Cavite, and Batangas have reportedly lost some five million chickens with worth around P250 million as the weather disturbance these areas in July.

Reaño said the growers are still adjusting their operations following typhoon Glenda.

"We are producing on a daily basis, and it will only take 31 days to grow chicken. So there's no reason for a shortage in supply of poultry products," he said.

He also said that the supply chain from the country's top chicken producing area, Central Luzon, was not affected by the recent typhoon.

In the same hearing, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that there is no shortage in the supply of chicken in the country, but acknowledged the tight supply of chicken.

"Because of Glenda the supply chain has been disrupted but when we check the volume [of chicken] we actually have enough. But there is a tight in the supply until September, he said.

The secretary said there is also a possibility that his agency will infuse Metro Manila markets with supplies coming from Central Visayas and Mindanao. (SDR/John Carlo Cahinhinan/Sunnex)

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