SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has acknowledged that a long-term solution is needed to address the “skyrocketing prices” of food commodities, including pork and chicken.
Like Senator Go, former Special Assistant to the President (SAP), the beleaguered Filipino people cannot overemphasize the importance of coming up with a long-term solution to the problem.
Last February 1, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 124 imposing a 60-day price ceiling on selected pork and chicken products after prices surged due to a supply shortage.
The imposition of the highly-controversial price ceilings, which took effect on Monday (February 8), prompted some retailers and vendors to declare a “pork holiday” to avoid incurring losses.
Under EO No. 124, the mandated price ceiling of kasim/pigue is P270 a kilo, while the price cap of liempo is P300 per kilo. The price ceiling of dressed chicken, on the other hand, is set at P160 a kilo.
The reported shortage of pork products in the local market, particularly in Metropolitan Manila (MM), was caused by the outbreak of the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF).
Go said, “Dapat po, mayroon tayong long-term solution dahil paano na langmatapos ang dalawang buwan?”
However, the soft-spoken but highly-effective senator from impoverished Mindanao was quick to assure the public that the Duterte administration is doing its best to address the problem.
“Lahat naman po dito ay naghihirap…binabalanse naman po ng ating gobyerno ang lahat between traders, consumers, at itong mga hog raisers,” said Go, chief architect of the “Malasakit Centers.”
A “Malasakit Center” is a one-stop shop in public hospitals, where indigent patients can access financial and medical assistance from concerned government offices and agencies like PCSO.
Certainly, the people expect their government to deliver on its pro-poor and pro-consumer agenda, particularly at this time of economic hardship brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.