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Government subsidy underway for retailers affected by rice cap

The government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will provide a subsidy for the affected rice retailers due to the implementation of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s directive to set the price cap of P41/kilogram for regular-milled and P45/kilo for well-milled rice.

“The DSWD will provide a P15,000 subsidy to affected rice retailers. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is doing the profiling of affected retailers,” Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol Information Officer Lovella Guarin, said.

PRICE CHECK: PRICE CHECK: The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with the other member agencies of the Bantay Presyo Task Force started its onsite inspection in various markets in the Bicol region to ensure compliance with the price cap. (DTI Albay photo)

Noel Bunao, DTI Albay provincial director, said they started the monitoring and profiling of rice retailers in the province not only to ensure compliance to the price cap but also to identify the beneficiaries who may qualify for government’s assistance.

“Base sa nakausap nating rice retailers, medyo mataas dito sa Albay. Ang reason nila, nabili nila ang bigas sa mataas rin na presyo. Inaalam natin kung anong assistance ang pwedeng maibigay natin. [From our conversation with rice retailers, the price is higher in Albay. Their reason is, they brought the rice at a higher price. We are seeking information on the assistance that we can give to them],” Bunao said.

Bunao added they will intensify their information campaign to encourage rice retailers to comply with the price cap and other mandatory requirements to qualify for the government subsidy.

STILL HIGH: As of September 7, majority of rice retailers at the Legazpi City public market still sell their rice products at a price higher than the imposed price cap.

For the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Program Coordinator for Albay Coniefer Codia said they have facilitated the reconstitution and harmonization of the Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PCCS) for onsite monitoring and enlisting of affected retailers.

Codia cited the six LGUs with active PCCs, which include the cities of Legazpi and Ligao, as well as the municipalities of Camalig, Pioduran, Rapu-Rapu, and Malilipot.

The DA has also strengthened the existing Bantay Presyo Task Force in various parts of the region.From their initial monitoring, DA Information Officer Guarin said although some rice retailers have complied with the price cap, others are still hesitant due to the loss that they will incur as they buy their products at a price higher than the imposed market price.

Jason Delgado, 35, a rice retailer at the Legazpi City Public Market said he is in favor of the price cap as their suppliers also lowered their prices but they asked for at least a week to sell their stock which they brought at a higher price.

‘’Pabor man kuta kaso dakol pa kaming stock. Ang pabakal mi dapat P49 to P50 (per kilo). Malulugi kami. Pag naubos na ini, pwede na kami makababa kan presyo. [We are in favor but we still have many stocks. We should sell it at P49 to P50 per kilo. We will be at a loss. Once consumed, we can lower our prices],” he said.

Salvacion Viñas, a 74-year old rice retailer for over 45 years, said although they are at a loss they will comply with the price cap as it will also help unburden the consumers from increasing prices of commodities.

For Salvacion Viñas, 74, a rice retailer for over 45 years, said they will comply with the lowered price as it will also unburden the buyers. She added that their buyers who used to purchase one or half sack of rice then purchased in kilos due to the increase in price.

‘’Lugi kami pero kailangan namin sumunod eh, bumabawi na lang kami sa iba namin na tinda dahil ganyan talaga ang pagnenegosyo. Sa amin okay lang pero sa mga bumibili ay mahirap. [We are losing but we have to comply. We just catch up in some of our products since that’s how it is in business. Its okay for us but its hard for the buyers],” she said.

For concerns and complaints, contact the DTI Albay Consumer Protection Division at 022-01-088 or 0918-9216652 or the DILG Albay Program Manager at 0995-2123613. (With reports from Cyryl L. Montales/PIA5/Albay)

About the Author

Sally Altea


Region 5

"He provides. Everything is in His hands."

Information Center Manager of the Philippine Information Agency - Albay


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