The mandated price ceiling for rice has helped stabilize the prices of the staple in the market, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Saturday.
The chief executive emphasized that the stabilization of rice prices in the market was one of the factors that prompted the government to lift the implementation of Executive Order (EO) No. 39, which imposed the PhP41.00 price ceiling on regular milled rice and the PhP45.00 price cap on well-milled rice.
Lawmakers agreed that the imposition of price cap on rice was among the factors that stabilized the price of the staple.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda pointed out that the reported year-on-year inflation rate of 6.1 percent in September is “due to oil and rice price shocks during the month” but “is expected to dissipate in the October figures” due to the sharp decline in global oil prices during the end of September and the President’s imposition of rice price cap.
Salceda agreed with the observation of his colleagues that the September inflation caused by oil and rice price shocks had already peaked last month and prices are expected to normalize soon as the President’s successive interventions take effect.
With the lifting of the price ceiling, President Marcos stood firm that necessary assistance to affected sectors will continue including efforts to strengthen and enhance the country’s agricultural sector.
Marcos gave his assurance that the government will continue finding ways to significantly reduce the cost of production amid the recent surges of prices of basic commodities.
In a short video message, President Marcos said that the government brought several interventions to the recent price increase of basic goods including the rice distribution to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries across the country and the efforts to strengthen the agricultural sector in the country.
President Marcos distributed sacks of rice to 4Ps beneficiaries in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay; Brgy. San Roque, Zamboanga City; Brgy. Santiago, General Trias City, Cavite; Iriga City, Camarines Sur; San Andres, Manila; Dapa Municipal Gymnasium, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte; San Jose, Dinagat Islands; and, Lower Bicutan, Taguig City.
The President also distributed sacks of rice to 4Ps beneficiaries in Roxas City, Capiz; Antique; and, Aklan.
“Nagugulat nga ang mga tao dahil sako-sako ang pinamimigay natin. Pero kahit mabigat, dahil masaya sila ay nabubuhat nila ang 25 kilos ng bigas. Malaking bagay na po ‘yan para Pantawid sa kanilang mga gastusin sa pagkain para sa ilang linggo,” President Marcos said.
The sacks of rice distributed to 4Ps beneficiaries are part of the over 42,000 sacks of rice that were confiscated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in one of its operations in Zamboanga City and donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) after importers have failed to show the legality of their importation.
“Bakit natin ito ginagawa? Dahil dapat talagang direktang nakikinabang ang taong-bayan sa kawalang hiyaan nitong mga smuggler at hoarder na ito. Malinaw ito na mensahe mula sa pamahalaan na lahat ng uri ng pagmamanipula ng presyo ng bigas at iba pang mga bilihin ay nagpapahirap sa ating mga mamayan at walang lugar ito sa isang Bagong Pilipinas,” President Marcos said.
“Kung hindi nakasunod sa batas, hindi natin papayagan para hindi kayo nahihirapan. Ang presyo ng bigas ay hindi napaglalaruan at ang supply ng bigas ay sapat,” he added.
President Marcos added that the government is also exhausting all legal remedies against rice smugglers and hoarders, who are destroying the supply and demand in the market as he emphasized there is enough rice supply in the country.
The chief executive recently said smuggling charges were filed against the San Pedro Warehouse and Blue Sakura Agri Grain Corporation, the F.S. Ostia Rice Mill and Gold Rice Mill.
“Ilang beses ko na inihayag sa aking mga talumpati, wala tayong problema sa supply. Patuloy naman din ang pagpapatibay ng iba’t-ibang aspeto ng pagsasaka at agrikultura para mapababa natin ang ating cost of production,” the President said.
“Irigasyon, mechanization, murang pataba, post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market road, transport cost gaya ng toll at ng tamang timing at balanse ng importasyon. Lahat ‘yan ay kasama sa sistemang ating tinututukan. Sa kabutihang palad, nagsimula ng mag-stabila at bumaba ang presyo ng bigas,” he added.
The chief executive emphasized that the stabilization of rice prices in the market was one of the factors, prompting the government to lift the implementation of EO 39, which implemented the above-mentioned price caps on rice.
With the lifting of the price ceiling, President Marcos stood firm that necessary assistance to affected sectors will continue, including efforts to strengthen and enhance the country’s agricultural sector.
“Lalakihan natin ang galing sa Rice Tariffication Law at ibibigay natin sa ating mga farmer sa pamamagitan ng mga equipment, mga tractor, mga harvest, mga dryer. Ito ay para mas maging mababa ang cost of production,” the President emphasized.
President Marcos has approved the release of PhP12.7 billion pesos to help small rice farmers sustain their productivity under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program while PhP700 million in excess tariff collections for the “Palayamanan Plus” conditional transfer under the Household Crop Diversification Program.
“Kasama rin diyan ay ginawan natin ng paraan upang ang mga truck na nagde-deliver ng ating mga pagkain ay hindi na nahaharang sa lahat ng boundary na dinadaanan nila kaya’t bababa ang presyo ng transportasyon, bababa ang gastos ng mga transporter at magiging mas mabilis ang pagdaloy ng pagkain mula sa ating mga magsasaka hanggang sa ating palengke,” he added.
The President is referring to EO No. 41, which ordered all local government units (LGUs) to suspend the collection of “pass-through” fees to ensure the efficient movement of goods across regions aligned with the government’s strategies to revitalize local industries under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.
President Marcos stood firm that all government efforts are geared towards improving the lives of the Filipino people as envisioned in the “Bagong Pilipinas,” centered on the welfare of the people.
He also emphasized that he is more concerned about the movement of prices of basic goods in the market than the movement of his ratings in the recent survey.
“Katotohanan niyan, hindi masyado natin tinitignan ang survey number, ang tinitingnan natin kung talaga bang bumababa ang presyo ng bigas at kung talaga bang umaabot ang supply ng bigas sa lahat ng ating mga mamayan,” President Marcos said.