The price cap on rice should stay to prevent potential foreign actors from exploiting the global surge in rice prices, House Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan of the 4PS party-list said.
“The government should keep the caps on rice costs as long as these are needed to safeguard consumers against price shocks and counteract potential illegal acts of price manipulation, profiteering, and hoarding,” Libanan said in a statement.
“We are worried that foreign state actors might take advantage of the situation and try to artificially affect global markets to undermine rice-importing countries and their governments.”
Aside from the price cap, Libanan said the government should also subsidize rice traders, not just small retailers, to keep the price cap sustainable.
Global rice prices have increased since India, one of the world’s biggest rice suppliers, banned the export of non-basmati white rice in July to prioritize domestic rice requirements.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who concurrently serves as Agriculture Secretary, imposed a cap on rice prices last August 31 to address rising prices.
Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual, however, has since said that the government would review the rice price cap implementation by the end of the month when local harvests and more imports are expected to arrive. — DVM, GMA Integrated News