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National Price Coordinating Council convenes to stabilize prices and supply of basic commodities in the Philippines

Philippines , 23 April 2024

MAKATI CITY — The National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) convened its second regular meeting on April 22 to discuss critical measures to ensure the stable supply and reasonable pricing of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) for Filipino consumers.

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the baseline inflation rate forecast of 3.8% remains within the government’s target range of 2% to 4% for 2024.

Although the Department of Energy anticipates a surplus in the oil supply, the NPCC continues to monitor the ongoing tensions in the Middle East and the Red Sea. These tensions are expected to drive higher freight rates and insurance costs.

To combat hoarding, NPCC Chair and DTI Secretary Fred Pascual highlighted the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) proposed Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Section 9 of RA 7581 or the Price Act, as amended.  This IRR aims to allocate buffer funds in its annual appropriations exclusively for procuring, purchasing, importing, or stockpiling essential commodities such as rice, corn, pork, sugar, onion, and fertilizer.

Secretary Pascual also secured support from the Philippine Consumer Centric Traders Association Inc. and the DA in strengthen linkages between farmer cooperatives and retailers.

Additionally, the DA presented the salient features of the National Farm-to-Market Roads Network Plan 2023-2028, which aims to address a 64,155 km backlog in farm-to-market roads over five years.

Meanwhile, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) updated on the implementation of Executive Order (EO) No. 41, S. 2023, titled “Prohibiting the Collection of Pass-Through Fees on National Roads and Urging Local Government Units to Suspend the Collection of Any Form of Fees Upon All Types of Vehicles Transporting Goods Under Section 153 or 155 of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.”  So far, 32 LGUs have complied with EO 41 and committed to reconvening its technical working group. 

Furthermore, the NPCC chair praised the DILG’s efforts in activating Local Price Coordinating Councils in 1,335 LGUs.

The Philippine Competition Commission provided an update on their ongoing study on the Suggested Retail Price (SRP), expected to be finished by September 2024. This study focuses on commodities significant to consumers, based on the latest 2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey.

“Consumer protection remains at the forefront of the National Price Coordinating Council’s efforts to stabilize the supply of basic goods at reasonable prices for every Filipino family. I have directed the Council to prioritize policy actions that address price and supply gaps,” said DTI Secretary Pascual.

As one of the implementing agencies of the Price Act, with the DTI Secretary as chair, the DTI is mandated to coordinate and rationalize government programs aimed at stabilizing prices and supplies of BNPCs. 

For consumer-related concerns and queries, please email ConsumerCare@dti.gov.ph or call the One-DTI (1-384) Hotline. ♦