Rice is PH’s ‘most critical problem’ – Marcos

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 25) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who promised to bring down rice prices to ₱20 a kilo, said Friday that the current situation of the staple is the country’s “most critical problem.”

Marcos said this following a question on his political party Partido Federal ng Pilipinas possibly coalescing with other parties, where he explained that everyone is welcome as long as they are supportive of his administration’s policies in boosting the economy and improving inflation print.

RELATED: Marcos: Partido Federal open to welcoming other political parties

The president, however, assured that they are on top of addressing the issue of rice.

“And that's something that we are attending to with all of the partners that we have, both in the government and in the private sector,” he said.

Authorities have been recording slight spikes in rice prices, with the Department of Agriculture (DA) now planning to import more than one million metric tons of rice to augment supply in the market.

READ: Flag of surrender? Lawmakers slam DA for rice import plans

In a statement on Friday, opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros blamed the “soaring” rice prices to “the inept leadership” at the DA and the National Food Authority.

Marcos also serves as the country’s agriculture chief.

“Malacanang should not look for culprits elsewhere, as the main culprits are within the DA itself. There may or may not be hoarders and price manipulators; let’s wait for the results of the investigations that the President ordered. What is clear is that the DA should acknowledge its central role in the alarming rise in rice prices,” she said.