House to NPCC: Submit report on measures vs. inflation

MANILA The leadership of the House of Representatives will ask the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) to submit a report on measures it had undertaken to curb inflation and cushion its impact.

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said on Monday the NPCC is mandated to report semi-annually to Congress the status of the programs and measures by each implementing department, as well as the Council's comprehensive strategies to stabilize the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities."

The NPCC is chaired by the Secretary of Trade and Industry, and composed of other Cabinet members from the departments of Agriculture, Health, Environment and Natural Resources, Local Government, Transportation, Justice, and Energy, and the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority.

Andaya is seeking clarification from the Council if there are really widespread acts of hoarding and illegal price manipulation. He also wants to find out if retailers are compliant with the suggested retail price (SRP) system, and what steps are done against SRP violators.

"If hoarding and profiteering is really behind the unreasonable price increases, the Price Coordinating Council may recommend that the Executive Department resort to drastic measures to protect our consumers," he added.

He noted that in Mindanao, where martial law is enforced, a price freeze on basic necessities and prime commodities has been automatically implemented.

Meanwhile, in Luzon and Visayas, Andaya said the NPCC may recommend to the President the imposition of a price ceiling on any basic necessity or prime commodity in cases of "prevalence or widespread acts of illegal price manipulation" and "whenever its prevailing price has risen to unreasonable levels.

"Malaki ang maitutulong ng report ng NPCC para malaman kung may dapat pa ba kaming gawin sa Kongreso para i-review ang batas at dagdagan ang kapangyarihan ng executive department laban sa mga hoarders at price manipulators, (NPCC's report would be a great help to determine what steps Congress has to take in reviewing the law and granting additional power to the executive department against hoarders and price manipulators)," Andaya said.

"A national price picture will give us an idea on where enforcement should be tougher, and where stocks should be rushed," he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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