The Department of Agriculture maintained that it will go after unscrupulous traders jacking up prices of food items in local markets, especially vegetables, as consumers continue to feel the burden of rising costs of commodities.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar warned traders that government agencies will not hesitate to file cases against them if they engage in manipulating supply, hoarding and jacking up prices, to the disadvantage of Filipino consumers.
Since November, the agriculture department has implemented suggested retail price on agriculture commodities, including vegetables, but current prices are way above the price ceiling. Prices of vegetables have been increasing even before the start of the new year.
Lowland vegetables like sitao, eggplant and tomato should all be priced at 100 pesos per kilo, but prices have soared to 130 to 160 pesos. Cabbage is supposed to cost 70 pesos a kilo, but current price stands at 200 pesos.