Press Release
September 11, 2018

With inflation, skyrocketing prices of commodities

Senator Nancy Binay today assailed the Department of Trade and Industry for not being helpful nor proactive in providing safety nets to cushion the poor from any adverse economic impact brought by inflation.

Binay expressed dismay over the lack of ingenuity of DTI to come up with quick-response mechanisms to provide consumers reasonably-priced basic commodities.

"DTI has a commitment in ensuring that consumers have access to reasonably-priced goods. The last time we saw DTI's rolling stores was in Leyte during the height of Yolanda and the Marawi conflict. Sana consistent tayo. With inflation and skyrocketing prices, at isama na natin ang mga bagyo at iba pang kalamidad, what's keeping government from re-deploying state-run rolling stores?" the senator asked.

Binay said it is the government's duty to implement measures that will lessen the effect of inflation especially on poor families.

"'Wag na po nating hintayin na amabot sa scenario na katulad sa Latin America na kung saan hinihimatay na lang ang mga bata sa klase dahil sa gutom. It is incumbent upon the government to provide low-cost rice and basic commodities lower than the market price in order to arrest food insecurity and avoid anything that would spark a series of blows in the economy and public order," she pointed out.

Binay said it is necessary to re-deploy the "rolling stores" to provide the public with access to affordable food and other basic commodities particularly in remote and depressed barangays.


The senator also hit the slow pace of distribution of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), with only 5.3 million families so far receiving the financial aid.

The UCT is a component of the government's Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) program that aims to assist 10 million indigent households affected by the implementation of the new tax reform program.

"DTI and NFA have the power to check and bypass intervening layers controlled by middlemen and big businesses from farm gates to points-of-sale. They can practically reduce the prices of prime and basic commodities that consumers buy in private and public markets that are significally lower than the suggested retail prices," Binay noted.

According to the senator, the DTI can field rolling stores nationwide to eligible families whose incomes are below the food threshold.

"The poor spend 60% of their budget on food. Kung hindi natin sila mabibigyan ng murang pagkain, ang magiging scenario ay magsasakripisyo sila ng iba pang pangangailangan para makakain, o hindi kaya ay magpapagutom na lang sila," Binay said.

She also backed the suggestion of some economists to increase the monthly Unconditional Cash Transfer from the current P200 to help families cope with high prices.

Binay added that stiff penalties will be meted out against rolling-store scammers and those diverting rolling store goods to the blackmarket.

"Dapat patawan ng mabigat na parusa yung mga mananamantala. Those behind any scam by making a killing and depriving the masa of affordable goods must be strongly dealt with," she said.

Binay noted that enterprising individuals usually buy goods from state-run stores and "diskwento caravans" at lower prices but sell them at much higher rates in the black market.

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