President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. announced on Wednesday the removal of the rice price cap.
“Well, I think it’s the appropriate time since namimigay tayo ng bigas. Yes, as of today we are lifting the price caps on the rice both for the regular-milled rice and for the well-milled rice,” Marcos said.
“So tinatanggal na natin ‘yung mga control. Pero hindi ibig sabihin basta’t ganoon na lang dahil kailangan pa rin natin ayusin ang agricultural sector,” he added.
Marcos stated that even by removing the price cap, the government would support farmers.
Executive Order 39 set a price limit of P41 per kilogram for regular-milled rice and P45 per kilogram for well-milled rice, effective September 5.
Last month, the President mentioned that the enforcement of the rice price cap had been proceeding as anticipated.
“We just had a meeting about that this morning, so far the implementation and enforcement is going as well as we can expect. Siyempre nag-aalangan din ‘yung ibang retailer at hindi natin puwedeng sisihin dahil nga hindi sila nakakatiyak nga doon sa ating ibibigay na kapalit,” Marcos said at the time.
Rice price cap lifted
The price ceiling was made to address the increased retail rice prices in local markets. Marcos attributed this rise to smugglers and hoarders of agricultural products.
Retailers affected by this situation received cash assistance amounting to P15,000 as they grappled with the consequences of the price ceiling.
Meanwhile, farm industry stakeholders supported President Marcos Jr.’s decision to remove the mandated price ceilings on two commonly purchased rice varieties by households.
“We thank the President for the lifting of the price ceiling,” said Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) executive director Jayson Cainglet.
“The imposition and lifting [today] of the price cap has been supported by the agriculture sector,” he added.
In his response, Federation of Free Farmers national manager Raul Montemayor stated that Marcos’ choice to eliminate the price ceilings on rice would offer further support to farmers.
“It will stabilize palay prices during the ongoing harvest season and provide incentives for farmers to expand their production and reduce our reliance on imports,” Montemayor said.