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Romualdez seeks probe on discrepancy between farmgate and retail prices
Romualdez seeks probe on discrepancy between farmgate and retail prices
Nation
Romualdez seeks probe on discrepancy between farmgate and retail prices
by Kristan Carag26 April 2024
Photo from the House of Representatives website

House Speaker Martin Romualdez seeks an investigation into the widening gap between farmgate and retail prices of rice and other basic goods.

Romualdez said on Wednesday, April 24, that he will ask Quezon Province 1st District Rep. Mark Enverga, chairperson of the House Committee on Agriculture, 'to immediately start the ball rolling for an investigation'.

"The discrepancy between farmgate and retail prices of basic goods is alarming and warrants immediate attention," Romualdez said in a statement.

"We cannot ignore the plight of our farmers who are struggling to make ends meet, nor can we turn a blind eye to the burden placed on consumers," he added.

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Romualdez sought the probe after he and House Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo met with representatives of producers, retailers, and grocery stores on Tuesday, April 24.

During the meeting, Romualdez learned from Jayson Cainglet of the group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura said that farmgate prices of rice, poultry, pork, and even onions have remained the same in the last three months.

"It is imperative that we conduct a comprehensive review of our laws to ensure that they effectively safeguard the interests of our farmers and consumers," Romualdez said.

"We must take proactive measures to prevent profiteering and promote a fair and transparent trading environment," he stressed.

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Romualdez also urged all stakeholders, including government agencies, industry representatives, and consumer advocacy groups, to actively participate in the investigation and contribute to the formulation of effective policy interventions.

"At the end of the day, we want to make sure that all the stakeholders in whatever industry or sectors are viable, if they are in the business side of it, so that it becomes sustainable so that we can continue delivering basic goods and services to the consumers at sustainable, affordable prices," the House Speaker said.

Romualdez plans to hold the investigation as soon as the Lower House of Congress resumes session on Monday, April 29.

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