MICHELLE D.G. Musico, a dressed chicken retailer at a public market in the nation’s capital, has been ordered by authorities to explain in writing why she was selling her goods at P160 per kilogram (/kg), P30 more than the government’s suggested retail price (SRP) of P130/kg. The letter of inquiry (LOI) was issued to her store on Monday as three Cabinet secretaries led an inspection at the Mega Q-Mart in Quezon City as part of the monitoring for compliance to SRPs set in an Administrative Circular issued by the Department of Agriculture on Feb. 20. Ms. Musico, who is required to reply to the LOI within two days, said her higher retail price is based on the rate charged by the supplier. “Masyadong mataas ang benta ng manok sa supplier kaya talagang hindi namin masusunod ‘yung SRP (The supplier’s price is very high, so we really cannot meet the SRP),” she said. The DA’s SRP order, which covers selected agriculture and fishery products, is intended to protect consumers from price irregularities in local markets. The inspection team was led by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año. “The monitoring, surveillance and enforcement of the SRP is a multi-department approach which include LGUs (local government units),” Mr. Dar said.
The DA circular sets the following SRPs:
• Pork (pigue/kasim) — P190
• Chicken (whole, dressed) — P130
• Sugar (raw, brown) — P45
• Sugar (refined) — P50
• Bangus (cage-cultured) — P162
• Tilapia (pond-cultured) — P120
• Galunggong (imported) — P130
• Garlic (fresh, imported) — P70
• Garlic (fresh, local) — P120 local
• Red onion (fresh) — P95.
The order took effect Feb. 24 and applies
within the National Capital Region.
— Revin Mikhael D. Ochave