Arroyo Urges Congress To Approve Consumer Bill Of RightsMarch 10, 2008 at 8:36 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar.10, 2008) – Filipino leader Gloria Arroyo urged Congress on Monday to approve the Consumer Bill of Rights to protect the public from unscrupulous traders, price manipulations and unfair trade practices, government media said.
Arroyo said the Congressional approval of the Consumer Bill of Rights will go a long way in easing the people’s burden arising from high prices and unfair practices.
“The high price of gasoline and everyday commodities hits our poor the hardest. While the high price of oil and now, the high price of rice in the world market due to global warming and therefore reduced production, is a global issue outside the control of government, we have nevertheless taken and will continue to take actions to reduce the pain on our people of these high prices,” she said in her address before some 3,000 participants of the 4th Mindanao Cooperative Summit in Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao.
She said the government is doing everything possible to lessen the impact on consumers of the current high prices of oil and prime commodities, including rice.
She pointed out that as part of government initiatives to reduce the price of oil in the local market despite the continuing increase in the price of the commodity in the world market, the government has reduced the tariff on oil imports.
“We have cut tariffs. We have started providing targeted cash payments to the poorest of our poor to help them cope. And we ask now Congress, Congressman Cua, Congressman Aquino, to help us enact a Consumer Bill of Rights to protect our citizens from price gouging, false advertising and other scams that prey on our people,” Arroyo said.
She also ordered the National Food Authority to help stop the reported irregularities involving the distribution of NFA rice, including the diversion of subsidized rice intended for the Tindahan Natin outlets to commercial markets.
She said the reported diversion of NFA rice is “part of the culture of corruption that we still have to fight.”
“And so we have ordered the NFA to prudently and strictly manage the distribution of the subsidized rice packs. And the NFA has begun by putting its own house in order,” Arroyo said. (With a report from Mark Navales)