SOME 95% of retailers are complying with the price controls on rice, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday.
“As of (Sept. 6) nare-report nating nagkaron tayo ng 95% success rate, which mean na nag-comply ang ating mga retailers (It has been reported that the price controls have had a 95% success rate, indicating that retailers have been compliant),” DA Director for Legal Services Willie Ann M. Angsiy said at a briefing.
Executive Order No. 39, which took effect on Tuesday, imposed a temporary price ceiling of P41 per kilogram for regular-milled rice and P45 per kilogram for well-milled rice as the government scrambled to contain rice prices.
Ms. Angsiy added the DA is continuing to “disseminate information” to non-compliant retailers on proposed subsidies to compensate dealers who will be selling their rice at a loss due to the price controls.
“Mabibigyan din natin sila ng ayuda basta sumunod lamang sila” (We will give them aid if they follow the price cap),” she said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has said that rice retailers will get up to P15,000 in subsidy to cover potential losses resulting from the price ceiling.
Ms. Angsiy said that the DSWD is currently working on the rules governing eligibility for the subsidy.
“But on the part of other government agencies, we are working closely with the local government units. Kinakausap natin ang mga mayor kung maari silang maka-provide ng assistance, (We are speaking with mayors about providing assistance),” she said.
She added that the DA is set to provide logistics services to directly deliver rice from farmers to retailers.
“Meron din tayong market linkages, kung sakaling ma-short ng stock ang ating retailers. Siguradong may dadating na stock,” she said. (There will surely be stock because we are connecting producers to retailers).
She added that the DA is working with the private sector to ensure supply until the start of the harvest in October.
“By the end of October 2023, most of the estimated 2.92 million metric tons of palay will come from 15 provinces,” she said. “We assume that will be enough” to address high prices. — Adrian H. Halili