PH economic execs on rice price cap: Necessary measures are needed
MANILA, Philippines — The economic managers of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration support the mandated rice price caps that he has set, saying that it was a necessary measure for extraordinary circumstances.
The economic managers—composed of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)—said that they were in favor of the price caps.
“This will effectively serve as an ‘active stop gap’ to address the market’s current circumstances. Conditions truly warrant a special mitigating measure,” DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said in a statement on Monday.
“In an ideal scenario, we can let the market dictate prices. However, as Neda noted, we are now faced with extraordinary factors that we have to consider,” she added.
According to Pangandaman, other circumstances in which price caps can be mandated include addressing emergency situations, setting temporary measures to address market disruptions, and targeting sectors to correct market failures.
In this case, the DBM chief pointed to hoarders and smugglers.
“We understand and fully support the decision of the President because there really are market players who have been misbehaving. Unfortunately, there really are hoarders and speculators. We needed to act fast to effectively address this problem with a tit-for-tat strategy against unscrupulous traders, at least in the near-term,” Pangandaman said.
Marcos, also the concurrent Agriculture Chief, had set rice prices at P41 to P45 in an effort to control erratic rice prices.