President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s order to impose a price ceiling on rice will hurt farmers, a lawmaker said.
“Medyo trabahong tamad ang price control,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said about the new policy.
Marcos issued Executive Order 39 setting a cap of P41 per kilogram of regular-milled rice, while well-milled rice could only be sold for as much as P45 a kilo beginning September 5, 2023.
The price ceiling is the government’s attempt to arrest rising inflation for the staple in the face of a global supply shortage and the El Niño phenomenon.
“Price controls are ‘cures’ that could be even worse than the disease. Ito ba ang reseta ng mga ekonomista ng Malacanang, o ng spin doctors nila?,” Hontiveros added, noting that there are more effective strategies which the government can pursue to bring rice prices down from P48-P56 per kilo currently.
She asked Malacañang for updates on the President’s drive to catch agricultural smugglers.
“If there are hoarders who want to reduce the rice supply in the market and jack up the price, then they should be caught,” she said.