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Dapitan City price council seeks to aid rice retailers on impact of mandated price caps

DAPITAN CITY, Sep. 8, (PIA) – Shortly following the issuance of Presidential Executive Order No. 39 which established a cap on rice prices in the market, Dapitan City’s Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) convened at the City Mayor’s Conference Room, New Government Center to discuss mediating strategies that will help local rice retailers with the transition.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) presided the meeting with experts from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA). The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) was also in attendance along with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP) stationed in Dapitan.

There were also representatives from the local Market and Economic Enterprise as well as a representative from the Dapitan Vegetable Association.

The council’s first order of business was clarifying that the price cap only applies to regular-milled rice which caps at Php. 41.00, and well-milled rice capping at Php. 45.00 per kilo.

The NFA briefly explained the technical and componential differences between the two, but then simplified it by explaining that they can be judged based on color. Slightly darker ones are most likely regular-milled rice while lighter ones with relatively less breakage were more likely well-milled rice.

Premium and special rice, on the other hand, which can be differentiated by their almost shiny exterior with little to no breakage, are not covered by the price capping.

Anticipating negative reactions from the business sector, specifically small time rice retailers, the council’s main objective was to provide help during this transition period, considering the short-notice of the executive order.

The DA will be providing logistical assistance for retailers wishing to go to Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur to purchase rice, and in the meantime, the DTI will be visiting public and wet markets to monitor the prices and see whether or not the order is being followed.

As of now, monitoring is all they can do as there is yet to be an order regarding the EO’s enforcement.

They will also be profiling rice retailers and looking into their registration, business permit, purchase order, and official receipts. This is for retailers who have already bought their stocks at a higher price and will suffer significant losses because of the sudden price drop.

Once they compute everything and confirm that the retailer will indeed be suffering losses, the DTI proposed that they offer them financial assistance equivalent to the amount lost in order to help the retailer break even.

There were also discussions surrounding forgoing this month’s rent on their space in public markets in order to take one thing off retailers’ minds as they go through this transition. However, this course of action is yet to be discussed with the Dapitan LGU.

Nearing the end of the meeting, a motion was raised to include the City Social Welfare and Development Office in the LPCC which was immediately approved by the body.

The council is also set to have a meeting with the rice millers and retailers in the following week along with the Local Government Unit of Dapitan City after the highly anticipated International Ironman 5150 Triathlon to be held on September 10 this year.

In the meantime, the city has committed to disseminating the information regarding the executive order in order to ensure its compliance before strict enforcements are held. (RVC/PJF/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

About the Author

Pamela Joyce Fumero

Information Officer - I

Region 9

A psychology graduate with latin honors from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology, Pamela is a registered psychometrician currently employed as a writer and information officer at the Philippine Information Agency's Region IX - Zamboanga del Norte Information Center.

As an information officer, she attends meetings and provides coverage for both government and nongovernment events that benefit the Filipino people.

She also writes feature and news stories which can be found on PIA's official website. 

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