No increase of essential goods prices: Timbon
The prices of most essential goods like fresh meat, fish and vegetables, except rice, in the suburban markets have remained stable and have not increased as claimed by some quarters. “I found out from my two spot checks on traders and pricing of goods in two markets in Inanam and one in Menggatal yesterday that prices, except for rice which of course had recently increased, are still the same with more or less the same amount or weight of goods could be bought with the same amount of money a few months ago,” said Assistant Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Herbert Timbon Lagadan. “In Inanam, however, the traders in the old market complained of reducing customers because of the stiff competition from the adjacent open market, which they claimed were infested with illegal immigrant hawkers,” he said in a statement here yesterday. During the spot checks in the company of officers from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Timbon was told by local hawkers that sales were declining while wholesale price had increased a bit. Nevertheless, they are maintaining the old retail prices to remain in the business although their profit is getting smaller. Timbon also found out during the spot checks that both the markets in Inanam and Menggatal do not have proper toilets within the buildings, causing discomfort to traders and hawkers, especially the aged. He also discovered that sellers of pork, chicken and other fresh meat share the same spot in the wet market in Menggatal, causing discomfor4 among the customers, especially the Muslims. “I think something needs to be done fast to provide toilets in both markets, and also to separate the meat sellers in Menggatal,” he said, adding that the local authoriti would have to upgrade facilities their respective markets.