Food crisis feared in CDO as fuel prices continue to soar

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 9 June) – A looming food crisis would hit this city in the coming weeks if fuel pump prices would continue to rise, officials here said.

A gas station in Cagayan de Oro City displays the current fuel prices as of Wednesday (8 June 2022). MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Councilor George Goking, chair of the city council’s committee on trade and commerce, said the City Price Coordinating Council (CPPC) has already monitored that some basic goods, especially those with cheaper prices, have been “withdrawn” from the grocery shelves of some malls in the city.
 
“This is only the beginning. It would worsen in the next few weeks if the fuel prices continue to spike,” Goking said.
 
Last Tuesday, gas firms Shell, Caltex, Seaoil and Clean Fuel hiked their prices by as much as P2.70 per liter for gasoline and P6.55 per liter for diesel.
 
Goking said mall owners have withdrawn some of the basic goods because they knew the prices would go up for these items in the coming months.
 
“Last Tuesday’s increase and the weekly fuel pump hikes would trigger inflation and will severely impact the economy of Cagayan de Oro,” he said.
 
Goking said urea prices for farmers in nearby Bukidnon province, food source for Cagayan de Oro, have increased from P850 per bag to P3,200 a bag in the past months. Prices of other farm inputs that are petroleum based, he added, have gone up, too.
 
But he noted that the farm gate prices for palay remained at P14 to 16 a kilo.
 
“Many farmers are now saying they are downsizing the areas they plant by 50 percent. If this happens, food shortage in the city can happen,” Goking said.
 
He said workers would also suffer despite the decision by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) in Northern Mindanao to grant a P27 daily wage increase.
 
The NWPC said the P27 wage increase would bring the minimum wage to P365 a day for non-agricultural workers and P353 a day for those in agriculture.

Raymond Mendoza, president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, said the weekly fuel pump hires would weaken the buying power of the minimum wage increase granted by the NWPC.
 
“Because of extraordinary inflation, the series of wage increase orders issued by the wage boards failed to restore the purchasing power of wages and it didn’t uplift workers’ purchasing power above poverty threshold wage level,” Mendoza said in a statement. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)