The issue of inflation in the country has been the talk of the town, especially the consumers, for the past few weeks. The inflation rate reached up to 6.4% last month. This has been the highest inflation rate so far in the span of nine years.
The prices of the goods and commodities increased. The typhoon which destroyed the farmers’ crops also factored in the increasing of the price of staple produce. Take for example the surprising price of the bird’s eye chili or the siling labuyo. Consumers were surprised after seeing that its price peaked up to almost PHP1,000 per kilo. It is even pricier than proteins such as chicken, pork, and beef.
With this comes the ongoing joke that siling labuyo has become the new symbol of wealth.
To provide help for the consumers and the farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) opened TienDA in Manila. This project was spearheaded by the Department Secretary Manny Piñol.
The purpose of TienDA is to provide an avenue for the farmers to sell their products directly to the consumers without the help of a middle man, and for the consumers to be able to purchase their products at a lower price.
People flocked around TienDa the moment it was opened. Unfortunately, the program did not go as successful as it could be.
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Despite the products being sold for a lower price, some consumers still were able to take advantage of the situation. Some buyers walked off with bags of produce in their hands without even paying a single peso to the farmers.
Due to number of customers that swarmed the farmer’s market, the farmers who were selling their own products had a hard time keeping track of their goods and collecting the payment.
The buyers were just grabbing the goods and putting it in their bags that is why some of them were able to sneak out without paying the poor farmers.
Sec. Piñol was furious about the incident. He wrote a post on Facebook which slammed those dishonest buyers who did not even think about the farmers’ situation and the labor they put into producing these crops.
At the same time, Piñol also said that it’s partly their fault for not protecting the farmers.
Since the DA did not expect the high number of people that came to the farmer’s market to buy goods, they were unable to provide enough manpower to assist the farmers.
Piñol promised that they would resolve the problem and will immediately provide ample amount of assistance for the farmers the moment TienDA resumes again, and hopefully consumers would learn to not be selfish and just pay for what they get.