The creation of a government task force on economic intelligence (Econ Intel) to go after profiteers, price manipulators, hoarders, and smugglers was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte and the Cabinet during a recent meeting in Malacañang.
Initially, the task force will go after unscrupulous traders, viajeros, and wholesalers — who have unreasonably jacked up the prices of hogs and pork, hovering at more than P400 per kilogram (kg) that persisted even beyond the 2020 Christmas season and despite reduced demand.
“Pork prices should have already gone down after the holidays, but they did not. Clearly, some persons along the food value chain are making a lot of money,” said Agriculture Secretary Dar.
Price ceiling for pork pigue and kasim is P270/kg while for liempo is P300/kg.
Before the 2020 Christmas season, averages prices ranged from P270/kg for pork pigue and kasim to P300/kg for liempo, which served as the basis for the price ceiling approved by President Duterte under Executive Order No. 124.
A price cap on dressed chicken at P160/kg was also imposed to maintain prices of said food item, as consumers shift and shy away from pork.
The Econ Intel task force is co-chaired by DA and DTI.
The Econ Intel task force is co-chaired by the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and with the following members:
- Department of Justice (DOJ);
- Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG);
- National Bureau of Investigation (NBI);
- Philippine National Police (PNP);
- Bureau of Customs (BOC);
- Philippine Competition Commission (PCC);
- National Security Council (NSC); and
- National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).