Rice retailers say compliance with price cap OK for at least a week pending gov't aid | Inquirer News

Rice retailers say compliance with price cap OK for at least a week pending gov’t aid

/ 04:44 PM September 06, 2023

Rice retailers say compliance with price cap OK for at least a week pending gov't aid

FILE PHOTO: A rice stall owner at Kamuning public market in Quezon City checks his stock as he waits for buyers on Tuesday, August 22, 2023. According to agriculture officials, who faced lawmakers at the House during a hearing on the Department of Agriculture’s 2024 budget, it will be difficult to bring down the price of rice to as low as P20 a kilo due to factors beyond their control. INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — The biggest group of rice retailers in the country on Wednesday said their members could only comply with the government-imposed rice price cap “for at least one week while waiting for assistance.”

“We will bank on the assistance of the government,” Grains Retailers Confederation of the Philippines (Grecon) president James Magbanua said in a statement.


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued Executive Order No. 39 on August 31, mandating a P41 to P45 per kilogram price ceiling on rice. But rice retailers, especially small merchants, were not too happy about this as they stressed that the directive might only result in more business losses.


The Department of Social Welfare and Development said small rice retailers will get a maximum subsidy of P15,000 as early as next week to cover the losses they are expected to incur with the imposition of a price ceiling on the Filipino staple food.

Malacañang said price cap for regular and well-milled rice in the country would take effect September 5.

“Retailers can comply for at least one week while waiting for assistance,” Magbanua added.

According to the Grecon head, “negative reaction” to EO No. 39 among their 65,000 members nationwide eased although also admitting that they were not able to prepare for the price cap directive.

“The national government assured assistance to our retailers, so negative reaction was lessened, but I have yet to talk to all (regional leaders)” to underscore the importance of obeying EO No. 39, Magbanua said.

“We also want to support the executive order, although we want to raise our concerns as most of our members in the Philippines were not able to prepare for the EO,” he also said.


READ: Compliance with rice price ceiling still low

Magbanua explained that retailers bought well-milled rice at P50 a kilo and regular milled rice at P45 a kilo – higher than the price cap being imposed by the government which is maximum P45 for one kilo of well-milled rice and P41 for regular-milled rice at ₱41.

Magbanua further clarified that a typical retailer sells around 20 to 30 bags of rice daily, and that selling the grains at ₱45 per kilo will result in losses of ₱5,000 to ₱7,500.

“We are losing ₱5 per kilo for well-milled rice, and if you multiply that by 50 kilos per sack, that will be equivalent to a loss of ₱250 per sack. Our losses will be somewhere like ₱5,000 to ₱7,500 daily,” he said.

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READ: House sets P2-billion aid to ease impact of rice price cap

TAGS: Food, price cap, Retail, rice

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