Press Release
August 27, 2008


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas said the government must ensure the stability of the prices of goods, after a recent drop in world prices of commodities such as rice, tin and wheat.

"Patuloy ang pagtaas ng presyo ng pagkain at iba pang bilihin dito, sa kabila ng pagbaba ng presyo ng bigas, trigo, tin can at iba pa sa pandaigdigang merkado. Bakit? Dapat ipaliwanag sa tao ang lahat ng ito, at maging transparent pagdating sa mga costing," said Roxas, the Chairman of the Trade and Commerce.

"There is no reason why rice, sardines, bread, instant noodles and other items would go up in prices, because the cost of inputs for these have gone down. The DTI must ensure that our people are not taken advantage of and that prices remain reasonable and explainable to the public," he added.

He noted that although the price of regular rice remains higher than the P22/kilogram price last year, it is now P35/kg, P1/kg less than last month.

"World supply of rice has gone up and prices have gone down. We should see a continued decrease in the cost of local rice," he said.

"I continue to urge the government to carry out a fertilizer support program and a rehabilitation of our irrigation systems, to ensure long-term supply for our country," he stressed.

He said the DTI must see for itself whether the continued cost of hard flour at P980 from P910 in April could be justified and whether flour millers still had to recover past costs as they claim.

"Mahalagang-mahalagang siguruhin na ang presyo ng arina ay manatiling mababa, dahilan sa ito ay nakakaapekto sa presyo ng pan de sal, instant noodles at iba pang pagkain," he said.

For sardines, Roxas said the drop in prices of tin in the world market would allow prices of sardines, which use tin-can packaging, to remain stable.

Roxas once more called for the removal of the value-added tax (VAT) on petroleum products. He said the administration must stop influencing the House of Representatives to stonewall the proposed tax legislation.

"Oil products are a crucial factor in the pricing of food, as it is used for both the manufacturing and transportation of this. The best thing the government can do is not to add to the burden of our people through continued imposition of the VAT," he said.

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