President Marcos claimed that the recently lifted mandatory price cap nationwide was able to stabilize rice prices, while allowing the government to make successful interventions.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. hands over a sack of rice to one of the 1,000 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Manila Sept. 26, 2023. (Photo from the Presidential Communications Office)
In BBM VLOG 250: “Libreng Bigas (Free Rice),” the Chief Executive said tha this order stabilized price in the markets was one of the factors that prompted the government to lift the implementation of Executive Order (EO) No. 39, which imposed the P41 price ceiling on regular milled rice and the P45 price cap on well-milled rice.
But the price ceiling was just one of the interventions that stabilized the prices of the Filipinos’ staple grain as the President emphasized what his administration has done to ensure the supply of rice.
“Ilang beses ko na inihayag sa aking mga talumpati, wala tayong problema sa supply. Patuloy naman din ang pagpapatibay ng iba’t-ibang aspeto ng pagsasaka at agrikultura para mapababa natin ang ating cost of production (I’ve said numerous times in my speeches, we do not have a problem with supply. We also continue to strengthen the various aspects of farming and agriculture to lower our cost of production),” he explained.
Some of these interventions are irrigation, mechanization, cheaper fertilizer, post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market road, transport cost like tolls, and right timing and spread of information, he added.
While the price ceiling was already lifted, Marcos maintained that necessary assistance would still be extended to the affected sectors, and that the government will continue to find ways to significantly reduce the cost of production amid the recent surges of prices of basic commodities.
The President recently distributed sacks of rice to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries across the country.
“Nagugulat nga ang mga tao dahil sako-sako ang pinamimigay natin. Pero kahit mabigat, dahil masaya sila ay nabubuhat nila ang 25 kilos ng bigas. Malaking bagay na po ‘yan para Pantawid sa kanilang mga gastusin sa pagkain para sa ilang linggo (The people are actually surprised because we’re giving away sacks of rice. Even though it’s heavy, they are able to carry 25 kilos of rice because they are happy. That’s already a big thing to tide them over for a few weeks),” he said.
The sacks of rice distributed to 4Ps beneficiaries were part of the over 42,000 sacks of rice that were confiscated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in one of its operations in Zamboanga City and donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) after importers have failed to show the legality of their importation.
“Bakit natin ito ginagawa? Dahil dapat talagang direktang nakikinabang ang taong-bayan sa kawalang hiyaan nitong mga smuggler at hoarder na ito (Why are we doing this? Because our countrymen need to directly benefit from the shamelessness of this smuggler and hoarder),” Marcos stated.
“Malinaw ito na mensahe mula sa pamahalaan na lahat ng uri ng pagmamanipula ng presyo ng bigas at iba pang mga bilihin ay nagpapahirap sa ating mga mamayan at walang lugar ito sa isang Bagong Pilipinas (This is a clear message from the government that all kinds of manipulation of rice price and other products that make life difficult for our countrymen have no space under Bagong Pilipinas),” he added.