City eyes imposing price ceiling on rice  PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 18:02

by R.G. ANTONET GO

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) yesterday said that the Local Price Coordinating Council headed by Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has already convened yesterday and is already planning to impose price ceiling on commercial rice following huge increase in the prices of rice in this city.

In fact, some varieties of commercial rice have already reached P60 per kilo.

Ceferino Rubio, DTI provincial director said that the Local Price Coordinating Council will be submitting a draft of the price ceiling to the mayor, and if she approves it, the DTI and the Department of Agriculture (DA) will finalize the draft and shall be submitted to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Stated on the draft is that the price of rice will be pegged at P45 per kilo for three months, and also for the National Food Authority (NFA) to augment the supply of rice in Zamboanga City. If the price ceiling is violated, penalties are at P1,000 to P300,000, and 1 year to 10 years imprisonment.

The DTI official believes that there is illegal price manipulation here in the city.

As to the timeline on when the price ceiling can be implemented, Rubio said that this will be up to the local government on how good and fast they can make the necessary follow-up at Malacañang.

Meanwhile, DA assistant regional director Melba Wee said that ever since the city is already deficit when it comes to rice production. This is due to the lack of land to be used for rice farming since many rice fields have now been converted to industrial or commercial areas.

On the side of the NFA, NFA regional director Genaro Nuñez also admitted that there is a problem with the supply of rice especially the commercial rice.

Currently the NFA has 30,000 bags of rice of 50kg each, which is reportedly only good for eight days as the city consumes 5,000 bags of rice per day. The next and last rice shipment is expected to arrive by September. (R.G. A A. Go)