PCC crafts paper on rice sector amid ‘fake shortage’ in supply
Amid contradicting statements on rice situation in the country, the Philippine Competition Commission (PPC) wants to dig in why prices continue to rise despite “fake news” on shortage of supply.
To recall, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, as well as the interagency National Food Authority Council said that there is no shortage of rice.
But Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez admitted that prices have been increasing since NFA Administrator Jason Aquino publicly announced there is no buffer stock at NFA warehouses nationwide.
PCC Commissioner Johannes Bernabe said that they are now looking into the rice situation in the country through an issue paper despite the absence of a formal complaint to investigate the matter. The anti-trust agency needs a request before it could launch a full investigation in a particular sector.
Bernabe also said that the issue paper on rice, which will be completed by April this year, would be able to identify possible violations in the sector – including anti-competitive agreements, collusion and cartel-like behavior.