By Chito Chavez
Several weeks leading to the Holiday Season, Quezon City authorities cited the urgent need for the National Food Authority (NFA) and other concerned agencies to re-deploy its rolling stores not only in Quezon City but also in other parts of Metro Manila where the poor can buy basic goods at reasonable prices.
Quezon City Councilors Victor Ferrer Jr. and Allan Butch Francisco aired this call as basic prime commodities are bound to steadily rise as the Holiday Season nears.
They noted the move will allow the underprivileged sector to celebrate the traditional “Noche Buena’’ and “Media Noche’’ festivities with their families more conveniently even under “humble circumstances’’.
“Mayaman man o mahirap ang kapaskuhan ay para sa lahat. Lahat tayo may karapatang ipagdiwang ang ganitong mga okasyon kahit sabihing pang tayo ay naghihikahos. Hindi kailangan marangya o bongga basta yung simpleng salo salo lang at magkakasama ang lahat ng myembro ng pamilya ayos na (The Holiday Season is both for the rich and the poor. They should enjoy the Holiday Season festivities even with a tight budget. There is no need for them to celebrate the occasion lavishly as long as all family members are present to partake on what is on the table),’’ Ferrer said.
Ferrer also appealed to the affluent sectors to never resort to panic buying especially of discounted items as this practice deprives the less fortunate of the food supplies they need for the occasion.
“Minsan nasa isang supermarket ako nakita ko ang isang babaeng mukhang may kaya na pinupuno ng fruit cocktail ang kanyang pushcart. Yung isang mag-anak nakatanghod lang at hinihintay na matapos siya sa paglalagay ng delata sa cart pero laking lugkot nila ng maubusan sila (When I was in a supermarket offering discounted food items I saw a rich looking woman filling her pushcart with fruit cocktails. There was a family waiting in line but to their dismay the woman left nothing for them),’’ he added.
Showing compassion for their predicament, another customer got three cans of the discounted fruit cocktails, six pouches of whip cream and two cans of sweetened condensed milk out of his cart put them in the family’s basket and paid for the items.
Ferrer said the family showed genuine appreciation recalling that the three children claimed that this will be a very special Christmas Season for them since this will be the first time that they will be tasting fruit salad.
“People are starting to stock up on canned goods in preparation for the Christmas Season even this early,’’ Ferrer said.
“I learned the family is from Rizal and only went to Cubao to do some window shopping. They were supposed to buy only a can of fruit cocktail and mix it with condensed milk and ice,’’ he added.
Francisco noted that fast selling items like pasta, rice, bread, tomato sauce, processed meat products, canned goods and other similar items should be made affordable to the poor at all times.
Aside from canned goods, pasta and rice, Francisco said the rolling stores can also sell fresh and African Swine Flu (ASF) free pork, laundry soap, bath soap, toothpaste, cooking oil and other household necessities at reduced prices.
Francisco also appealed to retail and wholesale store owners to sell their products at reasonable prices to make them affordable even to the poor members of the society even at this time.
With the underprivileged unable to go to big popular supermarkets, some are forced to purchase unreasonably priced commodities and merchandises from shrewd businessmen.
He called on the national government to start monitoring the prices of prime commodities and other goods in the market to minimize incidents of overpricing.