Profiling for subsidy up as rice price cap takes effect

Posted by watchmen
September 7, 2023
Posted in News

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Negros Oriental have started the profiling of rice retailers who may qualify for government subsidy, as the mandated price cap for the staple food took effect on Tuesday, September 5.

In a press briefing, DTI-Negros Oriental provincial director Nimfa Virtucio said they have already deployed Negosyo Center business counselors to the different towns and cities to undertake the profiling and conduct price monitoring.

“The government subsidy allows retailers to bring down the prices of rice as mandated by Executive Order [EO] 39 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. last August 31, setting a ceiling for regular and well-milled rice,” Virtucio said.

The subsidy will be computed accordingly and will cover the difference between a seller’s buying price and the price ceiling imposed by the government, she added.

Only those selling regular and well-milled rice will receive the subsidy.

Virtucio said the order does not cover premium and special rice, which are sold beyond the P41 and P45 per kilo price cap for regular and well-milled rice, respectively.

“EO 39, based on Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, is supposed to protect us from price manipulation, hoarding, cartel, and the like,” Virtucio said.

The DTI provincial chief said they will double their efforts to inform the rice retailers of the price cap and those found violating EO 39 will not receive subsidy.

Even though the province is not self-sufficient, Virtucio said that there is no shortage of rice in Negros Oriental as there are plenty of sources from elsewhere.

In the same press briefing, DA senior agriculturist Mary Ronville Aba said the rice price ceiling is just temporary because rice farmers are expected to start harvesting their crops this month and onwards.

On top of the harvest season in September and October, Aba also noted the coming importation of rice that will cover the country’s requirements.

Virtucio called on the public to report to the DTI, DA, or law enforcement authorities if they find retailers still selling their rice beyond the price ceiling set by the government.

She also urged local government units to activate their respective price monitoring councils to help ensure the successful implementation of EO 39 and to avoid an artificial shortage of rice in the province. (PNA)

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