DA, DTI propose lifting of price ceiling on rice
The lifting of the price ceiling on rice, which was imposed last month, is now in the hands of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Tuesday.
Gerald Glenn Panganiban, director of the Bureau of Plant Industry, said the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have recommended to the President, the concurrent agriculture secretary, the lifting of the price cap, citing favorable indicators that include the drop in global prices of rice.
He said the recommendation was made during a sectoral meeting with Marcos in Malacañang on Tuesday.
“That’s why we met [on Tuesday]—the DA and the DTI—so we can recommend and the President will be the one who will be deciding on it,” Panganiban said at a Palace briefing.
DA officials, in their presentation during the meeting, identified indicators on lifting the price cap, such as the decreasing rice prices in the domestic market, increasing supply of rice and the drop in global prices, among others, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria Garafil.
Panganiban, citing their evaluation, said the parameters had all been met.
“It looks like we are ready,” he added.
Panganiban earlier pointed out that the price cap on rice would only be temporary.
On Aug. 31, Marcos issued Executive Order No. 39, imposing price ceilings on rice in the country following the “alarming” increase in its retail prices in local markets.The mandated price ceiling for regular milled rice is P41 per kilo while the mandated price cap for well-milled rice is P45 per kilo.
No new DA chief yet
According to Garafil, government records show that the supply of rice in the market is enough for 52 days by the end of September.
By the end of October and with the harvest in full swing, the supply would be equivalent to 74 days, she added.
Panganiban, also on Tuesday, said he could not confirm reports on whether the President would appoint a new agriculture secretary amid the clamor of some sectors.
“I can’t confirm [that] to you. Hopefully not, because our President, I think, is doing a great job [at] the helm of the department,” Panganiban said, citing the export of three new agricultural products (durian, mangoes and avocado) as one of the major achievements of the department under Marcos’ leadership.
When asked if he thought the President’s lower performance ratings in the September survey of the polling firm Pulse Asia had something to do with the steady increase in the prices of rice, Panganiban said: “What can I say [is that] the President is really committed to serving all. I think he is the President for all—not only for the farmers, but also for the consumers.”
The survey was conducted from Sept. 10 to Sept. 14. The price cap on rice that the President approved was implemented starting Sept. 6. INQ