CLARK FREEPORT — The price of rice has increased by P1 to P2 per kilo nationwide starting in the third week of January, allegedly as a consequence of the government’s TRAIN measure.
“The price monitoring of the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) has noted rice price hikes across the country,” the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) noted in a statement yesterday.
It cited the PSA as having reported an average of P1 per kilo increase for special and premium rice, P1 per kilo increase for regular wellmilled rice, and P2 per kilo for premium wellmilled rice.
“The PSA also noted an upward trend in the wholesale and retail prices of well milled rice and regular milled rice this January compared to rice prices a year ago,” the KMP said.
For well-milled rice, a P3 per kilo increase was noted in Kidapawan City and P2 per kilo increase in the National Capital Region and Naga City, the PSA report said.
KMP also said PSA also noted price hikes ranging from P.50 to P3 per kilo of regular milled rice were observed in six regional centers nationwide.
The prices of other food agricultural produce such as beef, meat and pork lean meat increased by as much as P10 per kilo. Prices of dressed chicken increased by P2 to P20 per kilo.
Market prices of fish and vegetables also increased, the KMP further quoted PSA.
“These price hikes are the result of the cumulative hike in petroleum prices since Jan 1, when TRAIN became eff ective. This week, oil prices will once again increase according to oil companies,” KMP said.
KMP chairman Danilo Ramos warned that “this unending cycle of price hikes will not stop as long as TRAIN is in effect.It will only continue to worsen the economic hardship of Filipinos.”
The farmers group also demanded that the government “strictly implement a total price freeze in Albay province where the erupting Mayon Volcano is located.”
“National agencies and LGU in Albay should strictly monitor the prices of commodities in calamity- affected areas to avoid overpricing. Agencies should provide relief and rehabilitation assistance,” Ramos said.
KMP and the Bicol Movement for Disaster Response are continuously seeking assistance for farmers aff ected by Mayon’s eruption, he added.
KMP reported that as of January 28, there are 28,885 families or 89,109 individuals staying in evacuation centers in the affected towns of Bacacay, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao City, Daraga, Tabaco City, Malilipot, Santo Domingo and Legaspi City.