VAT-exempt aggie goods shows higher prices in Ilocos
by Henry S. Lagasca
SAN FERNANDO CITY (28 January) -- The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) in the Ilocos region reported that agricultural commodities demonstrated higher prices not because of the value-added tax (VAT) but triggered by other factors and the supply and demand, that is when more is sold, the prices are lower, and when less is sold, prices are higher.
BAS regional officer Wilma A. Guillen said that the behavior of agriculture and fishery products in the region shows minimal increase in 2004 due to series of oil price increases and the devaluation of the peso.
"If the 35 commodities, only NFA rice being injected in the markets had lower prices due to its availability at all times, particularly in times of financial crisis," the BAS official said.
Guillen said that the supply and demand situation had triggered up the prices of agri-fishery products contrary to the claim that VAT rate hike has influenced price increase of agricultural commodities.
BAS noted that analysis of the monthly behavior of prices of agri-fishery products in terms of the lower purchasing power of the peso bears rational effects. However, the same analysis noted that this situation can be merely coincidental, that is temporary.
The analysis also claimed that the poor sectors of society are the ones experiencing the effects of the minimal price increase of household commodities.
BAS also reported that other factors affecting price trends include transport cost and lack of storage facilities of seasonal and perishable agri-fishery products.
Of the 35 commodities having slight price increases include meat, chicken, eggs, sugar, marine/fishery products, legumes, vegetables, rootcrops and fruits. (PIA Ilocos News) [top]