One of the pitfalls of being a student is our limited weekly allowance that we have to budget carefully if we want to make it through the week or month. So we must be very careful on how we spend our money. But we may be experiencing a snag in our careful use of our funds because in recent months the prices of some of our basic buys skyrocketed.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, then let me enlighten you. Several commodities like garlic, ginger and rice had a price hike. You may think it is not really unusual but what if I tell you that the price raise doubled the normal price?

Notice how a cup of rice has increased from P5 to P8 sometimes to P10? The price of a kilo rice has increased by two pesos more every kilo. Garlic previously priced from P130 is now sold at P230. Garlic at VSU market is sold at P15 per piece.

Presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said the price of rice was increasing due to the market forces, and that the coming harvest of planting season should remedy the problem.

Some suspect the price hike was due to El Nino that damaged the crops lessening the supply of rice and garlic. But may also suspect that there are many farms that hoard their stocks, so that when the demand is high and the supply is low, they can sell them at higher price.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Malacanang said the government was “exerting all efforts” to ensure the stable supply of rice, garlic, and ginger amid the “unusual” spike in prices.

“Surveillance is being carried out to discourage hoarding and other practices that could lead to an artificial shortage,” Herminio Coloma Jr. said at a press conference.

Coloma said those behind the artificial shortage of those commodities will be made accountable.

If they are discouraging hoarders, why are we not feeling the effects yet?

Whether it is due to natural causes or the manipulation of supply either way it is very inconvenient for us students who rely on our meager allowances. We only use a few cloves of garlic but still, the high prices have affected us badly. If the government cannot control the inflation of these crops, then it is more likely that we suffer an insane price increase of our basic commodities.

VSU as a research academe should also contribute to the body of knowledge in working around problems such as these.

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