TRADE and Industry secretary Ramon Lopez on Saturday said the prices of rice are expected to still go down due to Rice Tarrification Law.
“Maganda po ang presyuhan nito at nakikita na natin ang magandang epekto ng Rice Tariffication Law,” Lopez said in an interview.
Lopez said prices of some rice in markets have been reported to be around P28 to P29 per kilo.
“Ang target natin ay nasa ganoong presyo hanggang P34 to P35 per kilo. Maganda ito para sa consumer,” he said.
The P35 per kilo price is for well-milled rice, he clarified.
“Inaasahan pa po natin na bababa ang presyo ng bigas,” Lopez said.
The Trade secretary also said the affordable rice is benefiting Filipinos as it will make them healthier due to the easier access to the basic commodity.
Lopez said the Rice Tarrification Law ensures food security and rice security.
“Asahan po natin na may food security at rice security. Ang kagandahan po sa Rice Tariffication, may pondo na pong naiipon at ibinibigay sa mga farmer,” he said.
“Gaganda ang productivity ng farmers at gaganda rin ang kanilang ani. Mumura din ang kanilang production cost,” Lopez added.
The Department of Trade and Industry secretary said traders are bringing out their supply of rice now as they are afraid they may be more affected when prices go down further.
“Nakikita po natin ngayon na lumalabas na lahat ng supply. Kapag alam nilang (mga retailer) maraming supply, tiyak nila lalong inilalabas ang kanilang mga supply. Kapag kakaunti lalo silang naghihigpit,” Lopez said.
“Importante po na inilalabas ang supply para hindi sila maabutan ng mababang presyo,” he added.
“Dahil sa Rice Tariffication Law, walang trader na puwedeng mag–ipit ng supply,” Lopez said.
Although importation of rice has been relaxed, majority of the rice in the market are from local sources, he said.
“More than 95 percent ng bigas sa bansa ay local rice pa rin,” Lopez said.
“From many sources, nagkakaroon na ng stability sa supply ng bigas,” he added.
A stable rice supply will benefit 108 million Filipinos, Lopez said.
“Ang benepisyo nito, 108 million Filipinos ang kumakain ng bigas. Mas marami ang makikinabang dito,” he added. (GMA News)