PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the government still has to address distribution disruptions, market availability and the supply of rice.
According to the President, the current thrust of his government is to address the gaps and challenges in the sector, particularly rice distribution, that affect supply and prices.
According to Marcos, the government is already implementing the necessary reforms, “hoping that the public could soon feel the effects of those measures.”
“Rice supply is not an issue for us here in the Philippines because there is plenty; but it is simply not distributed properly,” Marcos said during an event in Iriga City marked by the distribution of rice.
During an interview with the press on the status of Executive Order (EO) 39, Marcos said rice prices will soon drop in the market with the start of harvest season. The President signed on August 31 EO 39, mandating a retail-price ceiling on rice nationwide.
Under EO 39, the mandated price ceiling for regular milled rice is set at P41 per kilogram, while well-milled rice is pegged at P45 per kilogram.
In the meantime, Marcos said the government has to implement measures such as the imposition of a price cap, the provision of cash aid to rice retailers and setting a new palay buying price range for the National Food Authority (NFA) to help farmers and secure inventory.
Marcos said the Department of Agriculture (DA) expects a better palay harvest this year, adding that the government has to continue carrying out programs that could further develop the sector to ensure food security even with a good harvest. The President also concurrently sits as Agriculture Secretary.
Image credits: PNA/Rey Baniquet