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Imee: Roll out Kadiwa stores ASAP

SENATOR Imee Marcos on Friday said the government can reduce its difficulty in imposing price controls on basic necessities and prime commodities by rolling out its Kadiwa stores as soon as possible.

Ten days since President Rodrigo Duterte put the entire Luzon under a state of calamity in the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have been unable to control the spike in Metro Manila’s market prices particularly of vegetables and root crops grown in the North.

Lip service is all we are getting from the DA and DTI. There is no price control taking effect,” Marcos said.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, explained that market vendors could not comply with suggested retail prices (SRPs) set by the government due to the limited supply of goods amid high demand, add to that the mark-up costs of middlemen.

Where are the government’s Kadiwa rolling stores when they’re needed most? The concept of lowering food prices by buying directly from farmers and removing middlemen in the equation worked more than 40 years ago and will still work today,” Marcos said.

Marcos added that Republic Act 7581, known as the Price Act, provides for a buffer fund that the DA could use to add the number of its Kadiwa rolling stores and reach consumers on a larger scale.

Vigorous price monitoring or even arrests will amount to little amid overwhelming market forces. The government must intervene in the supply chain by rolling out more Kadiwa stores,” Marcos said.

Surveys conducted by Marcos’ office showed discrepancies between published SRPs and actual prices per kilo in some Metro Manila wet markets before and after Typhoon Ulysses.

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