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Incoming DTI chief told: Encourage more production to ‘keep prices down’

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produce more DTI

(FILE) Harvest time in a rice farm.

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is urging incoming DTI chief Alfred Pascual to “keep prices down” by having the country produce more goods amid the high inflation rate of over 5.4 percent facing the next administration.

DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said the outgoing DTI leadership has met with Pascual last week.

“The undersecretaries of DTI with Sec. Lopez had a meet-and-greet with him last week and we had some small talk and some short briefings with him. He asked us questions and he also asked us to ask him questions about himself,” Castelo told ANC in an interview on Wednesday.

Lopez and Pascual are also “in touch closely,” she added.

“I understand that if there are new events happening, Sec. Lopez will call him (Pascual) to advise him because Sec. Pascual already gets interviewed by the media and Sec. Lopez updates him on what DTI is currently doing,” Castelo said.

“What Sec. Lopez, I’m sure, has already told him is that we need to produce more and make sure we have more products available in the market to keep the prices down,” she added.

This same strategy was implemented in 2018 when the country saw a 6.4-percent inflation rate, Castelo noted.

The DTI, according to her, encouraged local farmers to “produce more” in order to ensure there is enough supply of rice at a low price.

“We were able to have P35 and P38 available in the market. I think it worked that time, because other sellers had to bring down their prices to compete with the P35 and P38 available in retailers, supermarkets and groceries,” she went on.

“I think we can also do that with other products with Sec. Pascual,” she added.


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