'Moderate your greed': Speaker tells those behind expensive commodities

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2023 09:23 PM

MANILA - "Moderate your greed," House Speaker Martin Romualdez tells those behind the expensive prices of basic commodities.

"My message, moderate your greed, release the supply of these basic commodities, these vegetables, whether they be onions or garlic, all of these, moderate the supply, moderate your greed, give us fair prices, if not your days are numbered we're going after all of you," Romualdez said in an ambush interview Tuesday morning.

Before this, Romualdez said the House of Representatives will go after traders engaged in hoarding and price manipulation of basic commodities.
"Obviously one of the top burning issues of the day are the high, soaring prices of basic commodities like sugar and onions and even garlic. We'd like to tell the public that the House of Representatives will use all its resources and employ all its efforts to ensure that we bring back stable prices and stable supply of these basic commodities," Romualdez said in his speech during the signing of a research agreement between the House and the Ateneo de Manila.

"We have already directed the chairperson of the Committee of Agriculture Chairman Mark Enverga who's with us today and the House leadership to get to the bottom of this problem, situation as to why there are soaring prices of these basic commodities and the lack of supply when in fact we know that there are sufficient supplies of these basic commodities and there is no reason why the prices should be soaring. So it only points out to one thing, there's hoarding, there's price manipulation. So we are warning those who are behind these nefarious activities that your days are numbered. The House will be going after you. So stop this foolishness, bring back the supply, stabilize it, work with us, and if not you're against us, your days are numbered," Romualdez added.

He amplified the point in a subsequent ambush interview.

"As I said, si Chairman Mark Enverga who is very much dedicated and focused to getting to the bottom of this, would be working closely with the executive and the Department of Agriculture and the executive to make sure all these hoarders and all these foolish activities of traders are stopped," Romualdez said.

Romualdez and several House leaders met with Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry officials Monday afternoon to press for a crackdown against cartels manipulating prices of onion and other agricultural products.


The House Speaker made the remarks during the signing of a research agreement between the House of Representatives and the Ateneo de Manila University which is meant to help pursue evidence-based and people-oriented legislation.

"This is why this partnership is very important. We need all the help we can get if we are to realize the ambitious goal of our beloved President to lower the poverty rate to a single digit over the next five years. Ateneo can greatly help us in this regard not only by providing Congress with timely, credible, useful and policy-relevant technical information for legislation borne from rigorous research, but also by lending their esteemed voices in the discussion of proposed reforms with the end-in-view of educating our people on the need for these reforms," Romualdez said in remarks at the event.

He said 11 research teams will be formed to examine the factors that adversely affects the attainment the eight-point development agenda of the President, and come up with key legislative and budget interventions to address these development constraints. 

He said they will tackle the subject of high price of electricity in the country.

The memorandum of agreement, officially known as the HRep-Ateneo de Manila Research Project, was signed by Secretary-General Reginald Velasco for the House of Representatives and Fr. Roberto C. Yap, president of ADMU and on behalf of the university’s Department of Economics and the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development (ACERD). 

The sectors that will be studied under the project are the areas of agriculture and food security; infrastructure, transportation and energy security; health, education and social protection; employment; fiscal management; competition and entrepreneurship; research, development and the digital economy; environment, green and blue economy, and sustainable communities, and; peace, security, and public order and safety.