QUEZON CITY, April 7 (PIA) – The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said there is an ongoing investigation on why pork prices increased.
“Ito po ay patuloy pa nating iniimbestigahan… Tayo ay parte ng isang task force. Tayo po ay nakikipag-coordinate sa iba’t ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno para maungkat kung ano talaga ang pinagmumulan at ano iyong mga iba’t ibang dahilan kung bakit mayroon tayong mataas na presyo ng bilihin ukol sa karne,” PCC Commissioner Johannes Bernabe said during the Laging Handa Public Briefing held today.[Translation: There is an ongoing investigation and we (PCC) are part of the task force. We continue to coordinate with other government agencies to find out what caused the increase in pork prices.]
Bernabe said that apart from looking into allegations of a cartel, the task force is also looking into possibilities of groups or individuals hoarding to manipulate the prices of pork.
He added that their investigation is hampered by community restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Pero atin po sanang unawain na dahil sa lockdown, nahihirapan din po ang ating mga imbestigador na umikot sa iba’t ibang parte ng Pilipinas para usisain kung mayroon ngang ganitong kasunduan or ganitong kartel na nangyayari,” Bernabe said.
PCC he said has recommended policy measures to look into the problem such as increasing the minimum access volume of pork imports and reviewing the process of issuance of import permits to ensure that importation is not controlled by big market players but that other qualified importers are given the authority to import.
He said all these are part of the holistic approach in addressing the increase of pork prices.
PCC is an independent body that aims to promote and maintain market competition by regulating anti-competition behavior, ensuring fair and healthy market competition and fostering economic efficiency and innovation. (MACV/PIA DDCU)