DA calls DTI to put a cap on price of rice
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol is calling on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to put a cap on price of rice to avoid hoarding and other forms of price manipulation.
“The Department of Agriculture does not oppose the importation by NFA of rice stocks to stabilize the price in the market but at the same time calls on the price regulatory bodies of government to check on the uncontrolled pricing of commercial rice in the market,” Piñol said.
He pointed out that rice traders who make money from importing rice are trying to scare government policy makers by making it appear that there is a rice shortage to justify the entry of additional imported rice.
“It would also serve as a convenient excuse to increase the selling price of rice in the market which hurts Filipino consumers,” Piñol said.
He said this after coming up with a statement that contrary to reports that there is a looming rice shortage because the Natonal Food Authority (NFA) has not brought in imported rice, there is actually a huge inventory of locally harvested rice.
According to him, the Department of Agriculture’s Field Operations head Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said the estimated buffer stocks by the end of the first quarter of 2018 is placed at 3 million metric tons (MT), which would be enough to supply the daily consumption of 31,450 MT per day for 96 days.