Trade Secretary Fred Pascual issued a warning regarding the expected increase in rice prices in the country, even though there is an anticipation of ample supply.
In a recent interview on CNN’s The Source, Pascual expressed his concern, saying, “We believe there will be some upward price movement, which is why we are also preparing support measures for those affected by this situation.”
As of October 9, rice prices were still very close to the price ceiling set by Malacañang in September. However, after the lifting of this price ceiling, coinciding with the harvest season, prices in the provinces decreased below the capped price, according to Pascual.
Although Pascual did not offer a detailed explanation for the expected price increases, he emphasized the government’s commitment to implementing subsidies and support programs to alleviate the impact on consumers.
Pascual announced that the government is actively developing a food stamp program, valued at P3,000 per family, with support from a $3 million grant from the Asian Development Bank. This program is expected to benefit one million recipients, described by Pascual as “very poor.”
Additionally, plans are in place to provide a P10,000 subsidy to approximately 78,000 registered rice farmers.