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Gov’t agencies oversee enforcement of rice price cap

SURIGAO DEL SUR – Governor Alexander T. Pimentel extends his support to the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and ensures that the rice retailers in the province will  adhere to Executive Order No. 39. 

This commitment is significant given that the province is identified as the largest rice granary in the Caraga Region, attracting both local and external rice buyers.

The governor has directed local government units to work closely with lead agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Food Authority (NFA), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), assisted by the Philippine National Police (PNP). Their task is to conduct rigorous and ongoing monitoring of commercial rice prices in the market to ensure that all rice retailers are adhering to the mandated prices of P41 for regular milled rice and P45 for well-milled rice in the province.

In response to this directive, the local government unit of Cantilan, recognized as one of the rice granaries in the Caraga Region, has taken proactive steps to strengthen compliance with EO 39. Mayor Philip A. Pichay issued and signed Executive Order No. 41, series of 2023, titled "An Order Adopting Executive Order No. 39 S. 2023 Imposition On Mandated Price Ceilings On Rice, And Organizing Price Ceiling Monitoring Team."

Furthermore, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Bislig City, following a recent monitoring of commercial rice prices on September 6, confirmed that the prices of regular milled rice have notably decreased. This positive development in price compliance with EO 39 can be attributed to the coordination by the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) to ensure the stringent implementation of EO 39 in the area.

The monitoring also revealed that some rice retailers already reduced  the price of well-milled rice ranging from P52-P60 per kilo in August to its current price range from P42 to P45 per kilo. 

In Tandag City's Luha Public Market, government agencies also observed that some rice retailers have decreased their prices for regular milled rice.

Moreover, local government units were directed to coordinate with local rice retailers within their jurisdictions to ensure prompt compliance and to implement measures to address any issues and concerns that may arise. 

Prior to the issuance of EO 39, the National Food Authority (NFA) in Surigao del Sur received reports and complaints regarding a surge in the prices of commercial rice. Consequently, they initiated price and availability monitoring for commercial rice. In their assessment, they noted a P1 increase in prices in the months of June and July. However, the significant spike occurred in August, with a P10 increase. Their monitoring also revealed a stable supply of commercial rice, especially since palay harvest had already begun in July, except for the white corn grits variety of well-milled rice, which had zero inventory at that time. The remaining stocks of this variety were sold at P46 per kilo by a single rice retailer in Tandag City.

The assessment also acknowledged the valuable insights provided by local rice retailers, who pointed out that the surge in commercial rice prices might have been driven by external buyers who were purchasing rice from farmers at higher rates. Since farmers were receiving better offers from these external buyers, local buyers were compelled to match the higher prices, leading to the surge of commercial rice prices in the market.

If left unaddressed, this situation could significantly impact less fortunate and low-income consumers in the country, imposing unwelcome burdens on their tight budgets and daily survival.

Hence, the implementation of the executive order is very timely and appropriate to address the current situation  in the local markets. 

Executive Order No. 39 or the “Imposition Of Mandated Price Ceilings On Rice,” issued by the Chief Executive and took effect on September 5, mandated the price ceiling for regular milled rice at P41.00 per kilogram and P45.00 per kilogram for the well-milled rice. (NGPB,PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Some local retailers reduced the prices of rice to P45. While others are still challenged due to projected income loss. (Photo: Geraldine Tagliong)
The rice monitoring shows there are still local retailers who do not follow the price cap. (Photo: PIA-SDS)

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Nida Grace P. Barcena



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