The Friday Blue Flag Market

With the increasing prices of consumables, due in part to rising oil prices,the Internal Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has started the Blue Flag Saving Price (ธงฟ้าราคาประหยัด ) campaign. Under the project, prices of various products, mainly basic commodities such as eggs, vegetables, fruit, rice, canned foods, chicken and other meat products will be discounted for the consumers.

According to the Ministry, more than one million people who have registered their poverty with the government can avail themselves of cheap goods that will be set aside for them at a special corner under the designated blue flag at participating stores.

Other than this, the Ministry also held series of Friday Blue Flag Market in various provincial districts in Southern Thailand. The objective of setting up such Friday markets in the deep South is to boost public confidence after the lately leaflet campaign by militants that scared many shop-owners into closing down on Fridays.

The Blue Flag market has been extended to Betong last Friday. The market featured various daily consumer products at prices lower than the prevailing market price. Many people from all around Betong come to grasp the opportunity of buying cheap. The market was filled with excitement, with a large number of people queuing up to buy the items, in which products such as rice, sugar, cooking oil and chicken eggs were sold out quickly. According to my survey, 5 KGs of rice sold at only 35Baht, 1KG of sugar at 12.50Baht and 30 eggs for 69Baht which were indeed very cheap!

The market was held at a school football field. A lot of soldiers were stationed surrounding the market to safeguard the security. Despite the recent case of the two killed armies, I felt no tension in the air…

The long queue under the bright sun

Goats at 200Baht per KG/Chat while waiting for wives

Fear of lag behind/Busy packing the sugar

Soldiers and the people

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