IN a country teeming with “unscrupulous traders,” profiteering, price manipulation and hoarding worry government officials and the beleaguered consumers, particularly during hard times.
What’s worse is that concerned government authorities find it hard to pin down these heartless Filipinos, who seem to have perfected the art of enriching themselves at the expense of the public.
But we are made to believe that the crusading administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and his officials have a large dose of political will to address the rising prices of pork, chicken and other foodstuff.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with other agencies, are expected to hit hard at those responsible for the skyrocketing prices of hogs and pork.
Supporting agencies include the Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Competition Commission, National Security Council and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.
President Duterte also ordered the setting up of a powerful multi-agency sub-task group on economic intelligence to run after hoarders, profiteers, price manipulators and smugglers of agricultural products.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that pork prices should have already gone down after the long holiday season, but they did not. “Clearly, some persons are making a lot of money,” he added.
Now that Malacanang itself has given the go-signal for the all-out war against profiteers, hoarders, price manipulators and smugglers, it will be up to concerned agencies to ensure the success of the undertaking.
And, like other well-meaning Filipinos, we hope the people, including the ordinary citizens across the country, will wake up to their responsibility to help the government in identifying unscrupulous traders.
Let’s then help unburden the country’s suffering consumers, notably the unfortunate members of Philippine society, from the problem of high prices of pork, chicken and other essential commodities.
Tulong na tayo!