ILIGAN CITY—In response to a report that prices of goods, specifically rice, have suddenly doubled, reaching almost PhP 5,000.00 per 50 kilograms, National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) Chair and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Ted Pascua and DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau officials immediately conducted ground inspection and price monitoring in Iligan City on Monday (5 June).
Sec. Lopez reported that based on the monitoring, prices of goods in Iligan City remain stable. He reiterated that with Mindanao still under Martial Law, any upsurge in prices in the region is considered illegal and therefore violators and profiteers will face appropriate sanctions.
According to the initial report, PhP 100.00 per kilo of rice, whose price monitoring is under the Department of Agriculture (DA), is being sold in Marawi City and adjacent areas, amidst the ongoing encounter between state forces and Maute-ISIS group.
Sec. Lopez reiterated the importance of consistent price monitoring for both basic and prime goods under DTI and for rice under DA, as well as the sustained flow of supply to prevent price increases in Iligan City.
Iligan City instantly cradles refugees from Marawi City. There are reportedly 130,000 Marawi refugees, who currently stay in Iligan City.
Sec. Lopez also called on state forces based in Marawi City to urgently report anyone, who intend to take advantage of the situation and sought help for the safe delivery of rice supply.
Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia, meanwhile, called on sectors for help, especially for those directly affected by the crisis situation.
DTI coordinates with DA and the National Food Authority to ensure rice supply in areas near Marawi City, including Baloi and Tamparan.
DTI also confirmed that Cagayan de Oro also has normal supply and prices, and within the price freeze levels.