Gov’t to ‘intensify’ monitoring of rice prices after faster August inflation

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 6) — The government said on Wednesday it would “intensify” its monitoring of rice prices in wet markets and supermarkets after the country logged a higher inflation rate in August.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday showed that the rate of price increases last month went up to 5.3% from 4.7% in July. National Statistician Dennis Mapa attributed the uptrend to recent typhoons that affected agricultural production, as well as a series of oil price hikes.

READ: Inflation up anew due to recent typhoons, oil price hikes

According to Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, the latest inflation data was one of the main reasons why the government decided to impose a price ceiling on rice.

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

“Ito ay isang pansamantalang patakaran upang tugunan ang inflation,” he said in a statement.

“Ang patakaran ding ito ay naglalayong mabawasan ang paghihirap ng ating mamamayan at puksain ang mga nagmamanipula ng presyo,” Bersamin added.

[Translation: This is a temporary policy to address inflation. This policy also aims to reduce the suffering of our people and prevent rice manipulation.]

The government began the implementation of the price cap on rice on Tuesday, Sept. 5. While authorities were lenient on the first day, they warned they would be stricter in the coming days.

READ: Gov’t warns of stricter rice price cap implementation in coming days