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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, January 12, 2018
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Minimal hike in prices of crops in
Negros amid TRAIN: official

The effect of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, or TRAIN law, could also affect those who decide to cook chop suey or mixed vegetable stew, as about 30 percent of its ingredients might incur increase in price due to the newly-approved tax amendment.

This possibility was noted by Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino yesterday as the implementation of the first package of tax reform, that also affects basic goods and commodities, started this month.

However, Masculino assured that the increase in the prices of some vegetables would not be as significant compared to other goods, like sugar sweetened beverages.

He said vegetables produced locally will not be affected unless they have big transport costs, given that fuel has an additional excise tax with TRAIN.

“When you cook chop suey, some of its ingredients are not locally produced and are acquired outside of the province and its price could increase due to factors like transport costs,” he said.

Masculino said several kinds of vegetables and high value crops that are consumed by Negrenses are not grown locally. These include carrots, cabbage, garlic and onion, he added.

“The effect of TRAIN on crops or vegetables produced in Negros will only be minimal unless they came from far flung areas,” he said.

Other factors, like competition and rate of supply and demand, have already affected the prices of agricultural products even before the tax reform was implemented, he said.

“TRAIN will not affect the prices but the competition and the rate of supply and demand,” Masculino also said, adding that there are still cartels that hoard some crops to create fake shortages, a major cause that may ultimately make prices go really high.

He also said that amid TRAIN, farmers could still afford to buy these basic commodities, stressing that the price increases are minimal and insignificant.

“The situation is not like it's the end of the world, everyone could still afford them,” Masculino said. *MLG


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