By Jasper Y Arcalas, October 24 2018; Business Mirror


Image Credit to Business Mirror

The government is set to implement the suggested retail price (SRP) on rice in Metro Manila markets on Saturday, even some industry stakeholders sought a three-day reprieve to prepare for the pricing scheme.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said the SRP was supposed to start on October 23, but was deferred to October 27 after rice-industry stakeholders requested for a three-day extension to prepare signages for their retail outlets.

Under the SRP guidelines, agreed upon by the Department of Agriculture, rice farmers, millers, traders and retailers, rice sold in the retail markets would be identified accordingly as imported or locally produced.

Furthermore, rice varieties would be categorized properly based on the quality of the grains with corresponding SRPs respectively:

Imported well-milled rice (25 percent brokens): P39 per kilogram;

Imported premium rice: P43 per kilogram;

Locally produced regular-milled rice: P39 per kilogram;

Locally produced well-milled rice: P44 per kilogram; and

Locally produced premium rice: P47 per kilogram;

“No one can sell Sinandomeng anymore. There will be no more Super Angelica. There will be no  Yummy- Yummy also,” Piñol said in a recent interview with reporters. “Those varieties do not exist.”

The government would not release an SRP for special rice varieties, which include heirloom rice, organic brown, red and black rice and Milagrosa, among others, according to Piñol.

Furthermore, the SRP guidelines have stipulated hefty fines for erring retailers, which would take effect 15 days after publication of the guidelines.

“Penalties and sanctions would include cancelation of NFA licenses, stiff fines and criminal charges,” Piñol said.

“The stakeholders, however, agreed that even before the effectivity of the penalties and sanctions, they were willing to implement the SRP on Saturday to show their support to the efforts of President Rody Duterte to stabilize the price of goods in the market,” he added.

Piñol said the SRP for rice sold in the supermarkets and other dry markets in various regions and provinces would be discussed next week with industry stakeholders.

“The SRP in Metro Manila and [Greater Manila Area] will be launched in a formal ceremony to be held at the Commonwealth Market at 7 a.m. on Saturday,” he said.