By Eireene Jairee Gomez, October 9 2018; Manila Times


Image Credit to GMA Network

The government will start implementing suggested retail prices (SRPs) for rice this month to stop profiteering and bring down prices of the staple in the market, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on Monday.

“We’re looking at P38 for imported rice while P39 for regular milled local rice, maybe P42 for well-milled rice and P44 for whole grain head rice,” Piñol told reporters in press briefing.

The National Food Authority Council approved the imposition of SRP in a meeting attended by officials from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Monday.

Piñol said the price range will be finalized in a meeting with farmers, traders, millers of other stakeholders on Oct. 18.

There will only be four classifications of rice: regular milled, well-milled, whole grain and special.

“We will not regulate special rice but we will identify the special rice that will be included in the listing. Under this classification, the retailers could specify the rice variety, but we will not allow anymore the branding of rice like Sinandomeng and Dinorado,” Piñol said, who added that imported rice should not be priced higher than local rice.

“The NFA council now will no longer tolerate a messy rice industry. We will have to put things in order, we will have to protect the consumers and at the same time, ensure that the farmers are also given their rewards if they produce good quality rice,” Piñol added.

Chicken price ceiling

The government will also impose a “moving price ceiling” for chicken starting this week as part of the government’s efforts to bring down prices.

Piñol said the DA and DTI will issue a Memorandum of Agreement to impose a moving ceiling price for chicken.

“In other words, it will move with farm gate prices but at least we can control the trading part, the dressing, logistics in between the farm gate and the retailing so that the maximum cap will only be P50,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters in an interview.

“For instance, if the farm gate price is P82, then the [selling price]should only be P132,” he added.

Lopez said the ceiling price will be updated every three days.

“We will still work out the details. If there’s already an SRP, then we will use that as a basis when we apprehend those selling [at a higher price],” he said. Anna Leah E. Gonzales

With a reports from LEAH GONZALES