No reason for food prices to go up, lawmaker says
The prices of fish and other food items should stay “fairly” low as long as fuel costs are down, House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG Marketers’ Association Rep. Arnel Ty said.
“Fuel is the single biggest expense in fishing operations, and since fuel costs are down, there’s no reason for fish prices to go up,” said Ty in a statement.
Depending on the size of their vessels and onboard refrigeration, he said commercial fishing operators spend around 30 percent of their income on fuel.
Citing figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Ty noted that galunggong, or round scad, was quoted at P140 per kilogram, while alumahan or mackerel was priced at P200 per kilo in Metro Manila’s public markets as of April 7.
“The deflationary impact of cheaper oil on consumer prices is widespread. It cuts across a broad range of food production, processing and manufacturing industries that are driven by fuel. So overall food prices ought to stay depressed,” Ty said.
Last Tuesday, oil firms rolled back their pump prices by P0.65 per liter for gasoline; P0.15 per liter for diesel; and P0.25 per liter for kerosene.
Citing Department of Energy figures, Ty said the P28.70-per-liter prevailing common price of diesel is down P11.55 per liter, or 28.7 percent, compared to six months ago.
The P41.95-per-liter current common price of gasoline is down P10.10 per liter, or 19.4 percent, he said. Ty also added LPG prices are now down by as much as 20 percent, to a range of P508 to P728 per 11-kilogram cylinder.
According to PSA, inflation in March slowed to 2.4 percent from 2.5 percent recorded in February. Among the commodities, the food alone index exhibited one of the highest growth rates at 4.9 percent.