By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter
AGRICULTURE and Trade offi
According to Director Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), officials have suggested removing the limit on rice prices due to a decrease in prices and an increase in local supply.
According to Mr. Panganiban, there has been a noticeable decline in rice prices in the market ever since the price cap order was put into effect last month. This was discussed during a meeting between the Trade and Agriculture departments and President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Tuesday.
On September 5th, the price limit for regular milled rice is set at P41 per kilo and P45 for well-milled rice.
“He mentioned in a mixture of English and Filipino that based on our parameters, it appears ready for lifting,” he stated, noting the decline in international rice prices and the improvement in supply. “However, ultimately, it is up to the President to make a decision on it.”
Mr. Panganiban stated that there will be a consistent availability of rice in the last three months of the year, as the Philippines is expected to produce 1.9 million metric tons of rice during this time. He predicted that the rice supply by the end of October will be enough for 74 days, compared to 52 days at the end of September.
The spokesperson stated that we anticipate a higher yield for October and November. The community can count on a consistent availability of our primary crop.
When questioned about the delay in removing the price ceiling on rice, Mr. Panganiban stated that all decisions should be thoroughly reviewed by the staff before being made. He added that this is to ensure that any decision made will be beneficial for everyone involved.
Economists have been advising the President to reduce tariffs on rice.ff
Some suggest exploring alternative measures rather than implementing price controls, as they believe it could decrease the availability of the essential food item and result in underground transactions.
Setting a maximum price may also dissuade traders from purchasing rice from nearby farmers, who will then have to decrease the prices they charge at the farm.
but there is still a possibility that the rice prices may go up
Mr. Marcos has claimed that the nation has an adequate supply of rice, but there remains a potential for the cost of rice to increase.blaming economic saboteurs — the act of
Both hoarders and smugglers- because of the deed.
The rapidly increasing costs of the product.
tariffs for rice to as low as 0% from 35%.
According to Leonardo A. Lanzona, an economics professor at Ateneo de Manila University, if the supply is sufficient, hoarders and smugglers will not have the power to control prices.
He stated in a Facebook Messenger conversation that if farmers can sell their products directly to the market instead of dealing with hoarders and smugglers, it would diminish the market power of the latter.
Mr. Marcos made a promise during the 2022 presidential campaign to lower the cost of rice to P20 per kilo.
Vietnam jumped 10%
However, after over a year, the cost of the main food source in the country has significantly increased due to multiple reasons, such as India prohibiting the export of non-basmati white rice. In just one month, rice prices in Vietnam rose by 10%.fl
The rate of acceleration increased from 4.2% to 8.7% in one month.
“The conference today is a hasty response to the President Marcos’ low survey results,” stated Gary Ador Dionisio, who is the dean of De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde School of Diplomacy and Governance, in a Messenger chat.
According to a survey conducted by Pulse Asia Research, Inc. from Sept. 10 to 14, Mr. Marcos’ approval ratings decreased significantly in all sectors and income groups. Economists believe that this can be attributed to the increasing costs of essential goods such as rice.
According to Mr. Dionisio, the statements made by BPI’s Mr. Panganiban created more confusion rather than providing clarity. He observed that there is a lack of agreement and consistency between the Agriculture department and the Palace.
This is not a straightforward policy, but rather a political reaction to a crisis.
The implementation of a price limit has resulted in a Finance official leaving their position, cautioning that this action may only benefit those who stockpile goods.
“Former Finance Undersecretary Cielo D. Magno responded via Messenger chat, stating that it is necessary to lift the price cap, in reaction to Mr. Panganiban’s statements. According to Magno, the price cap does not effectively address issues of hoarding and smuggling, but instead, it actually promotes such activities. Therefore, the price cap ends up exacerbating the problem.”
The President and his team of economic advisors have stated that the price limit directive is only a short-term measure.