THE Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, the ad interim appointment of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual.

CA Committee on Trade and Industry chairperson and Iloilo Fourth District Representative Ferjenel Biron said that following a thorough investigation and inquiry, Pascual was able to demonstrate his integrity considering his academic background, work experience and achievements.

“He is amiable, cultured, dependable, and highly-principled,” he said.

“I am confident as to his holistic fitness to take on this challenging and noble task of leading the Department of Trade and Industry to a vigorous and progressive future in line with this administration’s socio-economic goals,” he added.

During the deliberation, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri expressed concern about what seems to be a “pattern” in price increases of basic commodities such as onions, eggs and garlic.

“Let me ask you Mr. Secretary, what are your plans because pricing is in your mandate? Will you be setting up a task force? Will you be getting into this right away? Will you have your people look into this and file cases also for price manipulation?” he said.

In response, Pascual told the committee that they already had an arrangement with the Department of Agriculture wherein the agency will be focusing on farm productivity while the DTI will be in charge of price monitoring, as well as enforcement of laws that will address the problem on price and supply of goods.

Zubiri said the DTI is a key to the country’s growth amid concerns of high inflation rate. (SunStar Philippines)