DA, DTI recommend lifting of price cap on rice – official

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 3) — Nearly a month into the implementation of a price ceiling on rice, an official said the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have recommended to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to lift the measure.

Bureau of Plant Industry Director Glenn Panganiban said the DA and the DTI made the joint recommendation after seeing that the supply of rice has become stable and that global prices are improving.

“‘Yun ‘yung [That’s the] indication. From our parameters naman, mukhang ready na [it appears we’re ready], but of course it's all upon the president to decide on it,” Panganiban told reporters in a Malacañang briefing.

The Palace said Marcos discussed the possible lifting of Executive Order (EO) No. 39 during a sectoral meeting with the DA, the DTI, and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Tuesday.

It said NEDA also supports the proposal and recommends a number of interventions to complement the move. They include logistics support to rice traders, financial aid to farmers and unconditional rice price subsidies to poor consumers.

Under EO No. 39, regular milled rice may only be sold for up to ₱41 per kilo, while the price cap on well-milled rice is at ₱45 per kilo.

Marcos issued the directive amid a spike in the prices of the commodity, which he has attributed to hoarding and smuggling.

The order states that the price ceiling shall remain in effect “unless earlier lifted by the president upon the recommendation of the Price Coordinating Council or the DA and DTI.”