By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Adrian H. Halili, Reporters
On Wednesday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. announced that he has removed the limit on rice prices, which had been put in place a month ago to control inflation.flation.
Experts stated that the action, which occurred two days after a countrywide poll revealed a significant decrease in Mr. Marcos’ favorability ratings, was driven more by political considerations rather than economic concerns.
Today, we have decided to remove the price limits on both regular and well-milled rice. This decision was announced by Mr. Marcos during a rice distribution event in Taguig City on Wednesday.
On September 5, the government implemented a price limit in an attempt to control the increase in rice prices. The President had blamed this rise on hoarding and collusion between cartels. The maximum prices set were P41 per kilo for regular milled rice and P45 for well-milled rice.
Nonetheless, Mr. Marcos acknowledged that the government must still find a solution to the expensive cost of staple grains in Metro Manila.
During our analysis of the data yesterday, it became apparent that the main issue lies within the National Capital Region. The cost of rice is significantly higher here, which can be expected due to the urban environment. The lengthy process of transporting, storing, and processing the rice contributes to the increased expenses.
Mr. Marcos said he had instructed House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez to create a program for the capital region, where rice prices are “most volatile.” Thirty-three congressmen from Metro Manila would be tasked to distribute rice to poor people, he added.
According to Arjan P. Aguirre, a political professor at Ateneo de Manila University, this action serves as evidence that the government’s agricultural choices, specifically regarding rice matters, have been influenced by political motives.
The abrupt and impulsive choice to remove the price limit can be attributed to two factors: they
He eventually came to the realization that the price limit is not a effective policy and that they must address the decline in the President’s approval ratings,” he stated in a conversation on Facebook Messenger.
Pulse Asia Research, Inc. conducted a survey from Sept. 10 to 14 which showed that Mr. Marcos’ approval ratings have dropped significantly in all regions and social classes. Experts believe that this decrease is due to the steep increase in prices of essential goods such as rice.
Aguirre observed that Marcos’ choice to name himself as Agriculture secretary was intended to appeal to the biggest group of voters in our country – the lower and working classes.
He stated that they are particularly susceptible to fluctuations in commodity prices and the majority of them have investments in industries related to agriculture.
The individual mentioned that the decrease in their approval ratings is to be expected as people are currently struggling.
In retrospect, the government acknowledges that their policy was flawed.
According to Mr. Sta. Ana, the declaration lacked transparency as there are still uncertainties surrounding the true motives for implementing the price cap order.
Mr. Marcos has been saying that the country has enough rice supply, blaming economic saboteurs — hoarders and smugglers alike — for the commodity’s spiraling prices.
Raul Q. Montemayor, National Manager of the Federation of Free Farmers, stated that the removal of the price ceiling will help to stabilize the cost of palay.
During the current harvest time.
Mr. Montemayor stated through Viber that the proposed plan will encourage farmers to increase their output and decrease our dependence on imported goods. This is expected to result in lower retail prices of rice without the implementation of price limitations.
According to Jayson H. Cainglet, the Executive Director of Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, the current price for palay at the farmgate is P23 to P25 per kilo. As a result, the retail prices for well-milled rice can be expected to range from P43 to P44 per kilo, which is significantly lower than the price cap.
Last month, the National Food Authority Council established a revised buying rate for dry and wet palay at P19-P23 and P16-P19 per kilogram, respectively. The previous purchase price was P16 per kilo for wet palay and P19 per kilo for dry palay.
According to Leonardo A. Lanzona, an economics professor at Ateneo de Manila University, implementing a price cap would be pointless since the harvest would have been sufficient to lower prices and discourage hoarding.
According to Mr. Lanzona in a Messenger conversation, because rice spoils easily, it is improbable for these traders to hold onto their illegal goods for an extended period of time.
According to Roehl M. Briones, a Senior Research Fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, the availability of regular and well-milled rice has decreased because retailers are holding off on selling until the price ceiling is lifted.
“The lasting eff
He explained in a phone conversation that the implementation of a price ceiling could create an uncertain business environment.
Cielo D. Magno, a previous Finance Undersecretary, recommended that in order to maintain affordable rice prices, the government must ensure that the NFA has enough reserve supply and enhance the efficiency of the rice industry by providing ample and valuable resources.ffi
Implementing advanced drying methods and promoting the use of resilient and environmentally-friendly rice varieties.
She emphasized the importance of considering how climate change affects the rice industry.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has stated that it will continue to provide notifications to fi
Small rice retailers impacted by the price ceiling will receive financial assistance.
This was only a single occurrence.fi
“We will continue providing financial assistance to ensure fairness for all,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual stated in a press briefing, speaking in Filipino.fing on Wednesday.
Phillip D. Sawali, director of the DTI Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau, reported that the government has released a total of P217.2 million in cash as of September 29. This information was provided by Justine Irish D. Tabile.