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SEIZE HOARDED FOOD, RETURN TO MARKETS – PANGILINAN

As the 60-day price ceiling on pork and chicken products started on February 8, Senator Kiko Pangilinan said the Department of Agriculture (DA) must confiscate hoarded food and return these to markets.

“Sa DA nanggaling na may mga nag-ho-hoard ng pagkain. Kumpiskahin ang mga ito at ibenta, of course after the necessary sanitary and safety tests,” Pangilinan said.

“This is one of the solutions to increase food supply.”

“Yun ang isa sa mga solusyon para umangat ang suplay. Pag dumami ang suplay, bababa ang presyo,” the veteran legislator stressed.

“Kumbaga, kailangan na ng immediate blood transfusion. Dapat kaagad-agad mailabas ang tamang suplay ng karne,” added the former food security czar who was able to bring down rice prices in 2015 by almost doubling rice supply in urban centers.

The seasoned lawmaker said that the imposed price ceiling on meat products is a mere Band-Aid solution to the deeply-wounding problem of rising food prices.

“The price ceiling is not a magic wand.”

“Hindi magic wand ang price ceiling. Hindi bababa ang presyo ng pagkain kung kulang ang suplay ng pagkain. Ang problema ay naghihingalo na ang pasyente pero Band-Aid lang itong price ceiling,” the senator stressed.

Apart from monitoring prices and imposing a price ceiling, he said the government must strictly implement the laws that protect consumers.

Pangilinan said the price ceiling is only a temporary measure that will most likely be ineffective especially when implemented with lack of urgency.

As food security czar during the 2014 rice price inflation, Pangilinan also created an inter-agency task force composed of the National Food Authority (NFA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the police.

The task force went after profiteers, unscrupulous traders, and even a number of NFA managers. It revoked or suspended the permits of those who violated the law, and filed cases against them.

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