DA now saying SRP on rice is ‘counterproductive’

DA now saying SRP on rice is ‘counterproductive’

/ 02:16 PM January 11, 2024

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. appears before the Commission on Appointments on December 5, 2023 at the Senate of the Philippines as nominee for confirmation as Agriculture chief. Noy Morcoso/INQUIRER.net

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. speaks before a Senate panel in this file photo taken in December 2023. INQUIRER.net file photo / NOY MORCOSO

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday took a U-turn on its stance on implementing a suggested retail price (SRP) on rice, deeming it “counterproductive.”

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu-Laurel Jr. said that his department would not suggest price control on rice at the moment despite high retail prices of the grain in view of the threat of a prolonged dry spell.


“We’re not doing it. Prices of rice and other agricultural products in international markets like Thailand and other countries are volatile and fluctuating due to El Niño,” he explained in a statement.


The SRP on rice, Laurel added, was simply an idea based on the available remedies under Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act.

He further mentioned that farmers and consumers alike would suffer from a price control on the staple.

“I’m well aware that setting retail prices, even if just suggested, for particular goods tend to be counterproductive, especially when there is ample supply,” he said.

“In most cases, farmers bear the brunt of a price limit because traders will only lower their purchase prices to keep their margins. Consumers also don’t benefit in such a situation,” Laurel noted.

The DA secretary also said that the department is taking steps to ensure a sufficient supply of rice due to the El Niño by counting on importation to boost the country’s agricultural product supply.


“We’re building up a buffer, largely through importation, to ensure we have ample supply of rice as we await the next harvest starting March. This should help keep prices stable without government intervention,” he said.

Previously, DA spokesperson Arnel de Mesa said that the department is eyeing to put an SRP on rice as its price continues to skyrocket in local markets.

He made it clear, however, that the DA would not issue a price cap on the staple.

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READ: DA eyes SRP on rice as retail prices still over P50 per kg

The DA earlier announced that 500,000 metric tons of imported rice would arrive in the country early this year to serve as a buffer in preparation for the impending dry spell.

TAGS: Agriculture, DA, rice, SRP, suggested retail price

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