Labor groups to monitor prices of basic goods

- Marianne V. Go () - May 18, 2005 - 12:00am
The labor sector is joining the government in monitoring prices of basic commodities in the country to step up consumer protection against profiteers in the market.

Trade and Industry Secretary Juan B. Santos and Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap together with labor union leaders Democrito T. Mendoza of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Jose D. Cayobit of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) and Vladimir R. Tupaz of the Trade Unions of the Philippines and Allied Services (TUPAS) signed yesterday a solidarity pact to monitor prices of basic agricultural and manufactured commodities.

The government enlisted the help of the labor sector to augment the manpower resources of the DTI and DA in monitoring of prices.

Santos said, "the increased monitoring through joint efforts of the government and labor groups will not essentially bring down prices. However, this will help us fulfill our mandate in the Price Act to assure consumers of the availability of basic goods at reasonable prices, and to protect them against undue price increases caused by unscrupulous individuals."

Santos said the additional manpower would double the number of existing outlets checked by each of the said agencies, and ultimately, protect consumers from profiteers and keep them well-informed on the latest price trends.

Under the Price Act, it is the mandate of the government to provide effective and sufficient protection to consumers against hoarding, profiteering and cartels with respect to the supply, distribution, marketing and pricing of said goods, especially during periods of calamity, emergency, widespread illegal price manipulation and other similar situations.

Mendoza of the TUCP said the TUCP is willing to do its share in addressing the plight of the workers, apart from taking their issues to the streets.

"There are also times when we need to match our words with concrete actions," Mendoza said.

Cayobit of FFW and Tupaz of TUPAS declared their appreciation for government’s move to seek their assistance in the price monitoring program.

"We deeply welcome this challenge as we stand against illegal price manipulation which puts greater burden on our hapless public," Cayobit commented.

"Our members are amenable to undergo the necessary training for us to effectively partake in this significant task," Tupaz said.

The DTI and the DA will train representatives of the three workers’ organizations on the procedures and proper conduct to be observed while monitoring prices of commodities in the markets.

The said agencies will also identify the outlets to be visited by the participating labor union members and accordingly inform these outlets on the names of the members authorized to monitor.

Santos said that deputized labor monitors would be provided with necessary identification cards to show proof of their credentials to stall owners in checking prices.

Labor monitoring teams will visit their assigned markets weekly and submit to the DTI and DA regular price reports.

They should also report violations of the Price Act, the Consumer Act of the Philippines and other trade and industry laws to the DTI and DA.

The TUCP is a representative democratic organization composed of 23 federations involving all sectors and industries, from agriculture to manufacturing and service.

FFW is a trade union-social movement which has over 300,000 members nationwide. TUPAS is an assembly of 120,000 members.

The products to be monitored are the basic goods stipulated in the Price Act as under the jurisdiction of the two agencies.

The DTI checks prices of canned fish and other marine products, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, bread, salt, flour, processed and canned pork, processed and canned beef and poultry meat, noodles, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, paper, school supplies, cement, clinker, G.I. Sheets, hollow blocks, construction nails, batteries, electrical supplies, light bulbs, and steel wires.

The DA, on the other hand, monitors prices of rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh, dried fish and other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, sugar, fresh fruits, dried pork, dried beef and poultry meat, fresh dairy products not falling under basic necessities, onions, garlic, fertilizer (chemical and organic), pesticides, herbicides, poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with