The lifting of the price cap comes just before the start of the rice harvest season. A few days earlier, the government announced it would provide 12.7 billion pesos in financial support to rice farmers to help them deal with losses caused by dry weather and rising production costs.
According to Nikkei Asia, the Philippines government removed the rice price ceiling order after about a month of applying this measure to stabilize the domestic food market. In early September, the Philippines limited prices to 41 pesos/kg for regular milled rice and 45 pesos/kg for well-milled rice.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is also the Secretary of Agriculture of the Philippines, announced this order on October 4 on the sidelines of a government rice distribution event in Metro Manila.
“We are lifting the price cap, and taking other measures to help farmers with equipment and processing,” he said.
Prices of this essential commodity have fluctuated widely in recent months, contributing to food inflation in the Philippines. Countries across Asia, including India, have bolstered supplies by restricting exports of non-basmati white rice.
In Thailand, the government has deployed rainmaking operations to counter the effects of El Nino on rice fields.
Previously, during the 2022 election campaign, Mr. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced a reduction in rice prices to 20 pesos (0.35 USD)/kg. When it introduced the price cap in September, the National Economic and Development Authority said the measure would "punish and discourage hoarding".
The sudden announcement of the price ceiling surprised many people, with members of Mr. Marcos's team expressing surprise and saying they had not been consulted.
The lifting of the price cap comes just before the start of the rice harvest season. Days before lifting the price cap, the government announced it would provide 12.7 billion pesos in financial support to rice farmers to help them deal with losses caused by dry weather and rising production costs.
Data from the Philippine Department of Agriculture released on Tuesday (October 3) shows that the country's total rice supply is at 3.28 million tons, enough to supply people for 52 days.
“We do not lack rice. We have enough supply. But because of smugglers, hoarders, and price manipulation, supply is limited and prices are rising," Reuters quoted President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as saying. in a separate speech.
Farmer groups welcomed the removal of the price ceiling, saying it would help stabilize rice prices during the harvest season and encourage them to expand production.
Mr. Marcos' decision was made before the release of September inflation data on Thursday (October 5). Previously, the country's central bank expected a range of 5.3%-6.1%, which is outside the ideal range of 2%-4%.
(Doanh nghiep & Kinh doanh)