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Cebu’s price council has been reactivated.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The municipal veterinarian in this city has campaigned for the reactivation of the price coordinating council in order to prevent uncontrolled price increases in fundamental commodities such as beef and its derivatives.

The head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF), Dr. Jessica Maaribojoc, stated on Wednesday that if the council is reactivated, it would be able to set a price range for certain core commodities that sellers will adhere to.

“Right now, we’re just keeping an eye on the ceiling.” So, together with the Market Authority, I advocated the (re)activation of the price coordinating council, which can set the price range as a suggested retail price for our market merchants,” Maaribojoc said on a Cebu City public information office talk show.

Representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Agriculture (DA), and other government organizations make up a local price coordinating committee. The mayor is in charge of the council.

The veterinary office has noticed “consistency” in the price of pork in the range of PHP250 to PHP320 in both wet markets and supermarkets.

Dressed chicken prices varied from PHP170 to PHP195, according to Maaribojoc, as poultry breeders altered their rates in the first week of January.

In the lack of a body that oversees the price range, she claimed, dealers detected overpricing could not be sanctioned.

“Once the council or committee is reactivated, we may pass a resolution outlining the fines that would be imposed if a seller violates the suggested retail price,” she continued.

Maaribojoc stated that she will schedule a meeting with the Market Authority committee to restart the council.

The Department of Agriculture recommended the formation of a local price coordinating council to monitor commodity prices, particularly rice, in 2019.

Despite being active in 2016, the council has become dormant under the current leadership.

Meanwhile, the DVMF will lobby for the development of more slaughterhouses in the city’s south region to prohibit the sale of hot meat or meat from animals murdered in butcher shops that are not certified by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) or the local government.

DVMF field staff would frequently stop hot meat or illegally butchered animals being moved in an unregulated transport vehicle to various locations here, she said.

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