DA: Vegetable prices drop by 50% in March


Prices of vegetables have dropped significantly while prices of non-agricultural products remain stable, chiefs of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.


“Our (vegetable) prices are significantly lower at an average of 50 percent, much lower compared to February,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in an online press briefing Wednesday.


Dar said since it is already in season, the supply of vegetables is abundant and prices are low.


For non-agricultural products, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said there have been no price increases for basic necessities and commodities since September 2019.


“But notably, we are studying some requests given the increasing cost in the world market of their cost items,” Lopez said in the same briefing.


Both officials vowed to monitor the movement of prices and supply of food products in the domestic market to ensure that Filipinos would not be burdened with higher food prices while struggling amid the pandemic.


Inflation in March this year eased to 4.5 percent from the 26-month high of 4.7 percent in February.


The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) attributed the rising inflation rate to higher food prices since the start of the year.


Supply deficiency on meat, particularly pork due to African swine fever, transitory impacts of the typhoons in the latter part of 2020, and the higher oil prices have contributed to the rising food prices in the past months.

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