Press Release
January 25, 2021


Sen. Grace Poe urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to include galunggong in the goods it wants to subject to a price freeze as she asked the department to identify the calamity or emergency the country is in to warrant the price freeze.

Poe said the price of galunggong in wet markets has been extremely high in the past few days and has become barely affordable to ordinary consumers.

The DA has recommended to Malacañang the imposition of a price ceiling/freeze on pork and chicken, with kasim and pigue at P270 per kilo, liempo at P300 and dressed chicken at P160 per kilo. The ceilings are higher than the suggested retail prices it has imposed in late November which were at P260 per kilo for kasim and pigue and P290 per kilo for liempo and P140 per kilo for dressed chicken.

"If we really want to help our people, we should also give attention to galunggong or at the very least implement the SRP of P140 per kilo that even the DA's own price monitoring showed was already at P240 per kilo last December," Poe said.

Under the Price Act, the President may impose a price ceiling on basic necessities or prime commodities if there is a calamity, an emergency, widespread illegal price manipulation, if prices have risen to unreasonable levels or there is an event that will result in an unreasonable increase in prices.

"The price ceilings the DA is seeking is higher than its SRP. Even the DA's own price monitoring shows that the SRPs were no longer followed in Metro Manila early in December. This time, we are asking the DA to identify and punish those manipulating prices, not just for pork and chicken but also for fish and vegetables, if there was profiteering," Poe said.

"The government should act now. Butas na ang bulsa ng mga tao at wala pa ring trabaho ang marami," she lamented.

In the Price Act, the price ceiling on a product is determined by its average price in the three months prior to the proclamation, the availability of supply, the cost to producers including labor and transportation.

"If the DA has been monitoring prices, why did it allow the situation to reach this point? What caused the 'calamity' or 'emergency'? Why is the move to increase importation happening only now?" Poe added.

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