Piñol calls price of rice in PH a ‘daylight robbery’
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Filipino consumers are continuously being robbed in broad daylight by rice traders who have taken advantage of the lack of government subsidized rice distributed by the National Food Authority (NFA) in the market by pricing commercial rice almost beyond the reach of the poor.
Prices of commercial rice in the market now range from P45 to P60 and even up to P100 for the imported Basmati Rice from Pakistan.
“The rule of thumb in determining the price of rice in the market is to double the buying price of paddy rice or unmilled palay from the farmers. This means that if the buying price of paddy rice is P18 per kilo, the price of regular milled rice in the market should only be P36 per kilo or if the buying price of the farmers’ produce is P20 per kilo, then milled rice should only be priced P40 per kilo in the market,” Piñol said.
“Pricing rice at P45 per kilo is cheating on the consumers while selling it at P60 per kilo is a brazen daylight robbery,” he added.
According to him, the biggest problem in the rice industry in the country now is the fact that rice trading is controlled by big businessmen who finance the planting, buys the paddy rice, mills the rice and sells the rice in the market through their dealers.
“Government must take control of the rice industry, from the buying of the palsy from the farmers to the distribution in the market. Rice is staple food of the Filipinos and food security is a vital component of national security,” Piñol further said.