PBBM orders boosted gov’t efforts after lifting of rice price caps

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

October 11, 2023, 11:24 am

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has ordered concerned government agencies to ramp up their efforts in helping rice farmers, retailers, and consumers amid efforts to stabilize the supply and price of the staple.

Under Executive Order (EO) 42 inked by Marcos on Oct. 4, the concerned agencies are directed to fortify their existing programs and initiatives to provide support and assistance to affected sectors “to ensure stability of rice prices upon the lifting of the mandated price ceilings.”

EO 42, which was made public on Wednesday, formally repeals EO 39, which implements the mandated price ceiling of PHP41 per kilogram on regular milled rice and PHP45 per kilogram on well-milled rice.

“EO No. 39 is hereby repealed. All other orders, rules and regulations, and issuances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly,” EO 42 read.

Marcos first announced his decision to lift EO 39 on Oct. 4 following the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The DA and DTI have jointly recommended the lifting of the mandated price ceilings in view of the decreasing rice prices in the domestic market, increasing supply of rice stock, and declining global rice prices.

EO 42 takes effect immediately upon publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

In a weekly vlog uploaded on his official Facebook page on Oct. 7, Marcos said he had directed the lifting of the implementation of EO 39 because the rice prices have already stabilized.

Marcos vowed that the government would continue to work hard to reduce the cost of production amid the recent surges of prices of basic commodities.

He also maintained that the government is exhausting all legal remedies against rice smugglers and hoarders who are destroying the supply and demand in the market.

While he reassured the public that the country has sufficient rice supply, Marcos said his administration is committed to improving the productivity and income of farmers. (PNA)