City’s rice retailers ready to adhere to price caps

SunStar Photo by Ramcez Villegas
SunStar Photo by Ramcez Villegas

RICE vendors and retailers in Davao City acknowledged that adhering to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s directive to maintain rice prices at P41 per kilogram (/kg) for regular-milled rice and P45/kg for well-milled rice will be challenging, but they are prepared for it.

A task force, composed of the Department of Trade and Industry-Davao Region (DTI-Davao) and the Department of Agriculture-Davao Region (DA-Davao), in collaboration with the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and other security agencies, initiated a seven-day operation to profile and monitor rice prices starting on September 5, 2023.

To ensure compliance and prevent hoarding and profiteering, Marcos, who also serves as the Department of Agriculture secretary, has entrusted both DA and DTI with the joint responsibility of overseeing rice prices.  Following Executive Order No. 39, also known as the Imposition of Mandated Price Ceilings on Rice, they will conduct inspections at wet markets, supermarkets, warehouses, and storage facilities.

The policy, implemented on September 5, 2023, imposes price limits on both regular-milled and well-milled rice nationwide for two months.

Bethany, a rice retailer from Agdao who requested to remain anonymous, expressed that immediately adhering to the lower prices would be unwise for them as they have a significant supply in their inventory. 

She clarified that no deliberate hoarding or withholding of rice supply could lead to price hikes.

“Hinaot makadawat na mi og tabang sa gobyerno aron mabawi ang among lugi. Giingon man to nga naay ayuda pero wala pa man (We hope to receive assistance from the government to recover from our losses. We were told that we’ll receive aid, but we have not received any yet),” she said. “Basta hapit na mi makapabaligya og barato, dili mi sitahon kay [buhaton] namo na (We assure them that we will sell at a low price and we’ll not be reprimanded).” 

Johnny Duran, a vendor at Bankerohan public market, explained that they were instructed to maintain regular pricing until they receive new and more affordable rice stocks. They intend to conform to the mandated costs once these lower-priced supplies arrive.

Kelly Ong, another rice vendor, shared that initially, they considered limiting rice sales to one kilo under the President's order but reconsidered this approach as it appeared impractical. They are inclined to sell rice at a reduced price while being mindful of their available supply.

He emphasized the importance of being prudent with rice distribution due to limited supply, ensuring it is sold fairly and efficiently. ICE


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