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Facebook: Laban Konsyumer Inc.
Website : www.labankonsyumer.com
October 19, 2020
PRESS STATEMENT 2020-070
CONSUMER GROUP ASKED PCC TO REIN IN HIGH RETAIL PRICES OF PORK AND CHICKEN
In a letter to the Chairman and Members of the Philippine Competition Commission, consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) said “We are writing the Philippine Competition Commission with the objective to ensure that the safety nets of the Suggested Retail Price are not being used at any stage of the supply chain to reduce, restrain , collude and lessen the competition, making life more difficult and harder for the consumers with very high retail prices of pork and chicken during this already painful period of pandemic and quarantine. Any forms of partnership in the supply chain which may result in easing out honest to goodness competition and resulting to higher retail prices over and above the SRP will lessen choices to consumers and place the consumers hapless and helpless at the hands of the retailers.”
The consumer group explained “Fresh pork and poultry meat are listed as Basic Necessities in section 3 (1) of the Price Act, or RA 7581, as amended. As such, the Price Act authorizes the implementing agency ( in this case the Department of Agriculture ) in Section 10 ( 5 ) of RA 7581 as amended from time to time may issue suggested reasonable retail prices for any or all basic necessities and prime commodities under his jurisdiction for the information, and guidance of producers , manufacturers, traders, dealers, sellers, retailers , and the consumers.”
Dimagiba pointed out for fresh whole chicken, the Suggested Retail Prices over a period of two (2) years from December 2018 to June 2020 were set per kilo at Php 125.00, Php 145.00, Php 128.00 and Php 130.00 in that order.
For fresh pork Pigue or Kasim, the SRP per kilo are set this year at Php 190.00 and Php 230.00, while for fresh pork Liempo, the SRP per kilo are set at Php 225.00 and Php 250.00.
Notwithstanding the SRPs, the monitored prevailing retail prices of chicken and pork are well above SRP.
For chicken, the monitored prevailing prices for the period of the SRP were Php 150.00 and Php 160.00 per kilo.
On the other hand, the monitored prevailing retail prices of pork pigue and kasim and liempo were Php 200.00 and Php 240.00 per kilo on April 17, 2020 and Php 240.00 and Php 280.00 per kilo on June 25, 2020.
As of October 17, 2020, the monitored prevailing prices of pigue/kasim, liempo and chicken per kilo shot up to Php 290.00, Php 320.00 and Php 160.00 .
Dimagiba reasoned “Yet, the country has enough supply of pork and chicken, even as there are lingering health issues of the industry as well as the never-ending tussle of the policy of allowing or banning importation amongst the regulators, producers and the importers.”
LKI highlighted “For chicken in cold storage, the country’s local inventory stands at 38, 000 MT and imports of 46, 900 MT as of October 5, 2020 versus 11, 400 MT for local chicken and 16, 500 MT for imported chicken as of September 30, 2019.”
Dimagiba emphasized “On the other hand, for frozen pork in accredited cold storage, for the same period, local pork inventory is 7,500 MT and 36, 645 MT imported pork versus 3, 470 MT of local pork and 35, 460 MT of imported pork.”
The group voiced out “We believe that consumers are entitled to learn, hear and understand from the Philippine Competition Commission, independent of the implementing agency, i. e. the Department of Agriculture , that there are no acts of illegal price manipulation happening in the supply chain of pork and chicken . We presented data that merits investigation and inquiry by the Philippine Competition Commission.”
The letter stated “In seeking action from the Philippine Competition Commission, we cite and invoke Section 41 of Republic Act No. 10667 which states that “If the violation involves the trade or movement of basic necessities and prime commodities as defined by RA 7581, as amended, the fine imposed by the Commission or the courts, as the case may be, shall be tripled.
Further, under the Price Act in Section 5, illegal acts of price manipulation are hoarding, profiteering and cartel. This section was not repealed in Section 55 of the Philippine Competition Act.”
Dimagiba concluded “the data presented above were taken from the websites of the Department of Agriculture, National Meat Inspection Service, the Philippine Statistics Authority and the United Broilers Raisers Association.
We hope that with the PCC intervention, we can rein in the upward movement of the retail prices of pork and chicken. The PCC should be felt as an ally of the consumers during the pandemic and the holiday season.”