Makati City Proposes Buffer Stocking to Combat Agricultural Price Manipulation

MAKATI CITY — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has introduced a proposal to maintain up to 10 days of buffer stock of key agricultural products to prevent illegal price manipulation. This proposal was presented during a meeting with the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) held at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) office on Monday.

According to Philippines News Agency, the DA's plan aims to stabilize commodity prices by increasing the available supply, thereby reducing market prices. Nograles noted that this stockpiling would include essential items such as rice, corn, sugar, onion, pork, and fertilizers. The implementation of this strategy is pending as the DA is currently developing the necessary implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

Nograles added that while immediate implementation is not confirmed, the IRR will outline specific circumstances under which the government may activate this buffer stocking. She emphasized that the availability of such stocks would serve as a deterrent to hoarders and those engaged in price manipulation by allowing government intervention at any moment.

DTI Undersecretary Jose Edgardo Sunico highlighted that this would mark the first utilization of the Price Act's provision on buffer stocking by the DA. Republic Act 7581, or the Price Act, permits the procurement and distribution of basic necessities or prime commodities to regulate prices in regions experiencing shortages or needing price adjustments.

DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual has expressed support for the DA's initiative, viewing it as a vital tool to help manage inflation pressures. This proposal represents one of several measures the government is considering to address economic challenges.