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MANILA, Philippines – Weeks after setting a price cap on rice nationwide, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. set a new National Food Authority (NFA) buying price range for palay, or unhusked rice, on Monday, September 18.
According to a release from Malacañang Palace, Marcos led the NFA Council on Monday to set the new price range “in response to the changing production and market conditions.”
“Nag-decide kami na ngayon, ang buying price ng NFA mula ngayon ay sa dry ay P19 to P23, ang wet ay magiging P16 to P19. Iyon ang naging desisyon ng mga NFA Council (We decided that starting today, the buying price of the NFA for dry palay will be P19 to P23, and for wet palay will be P16 to 19. That’s the decision of the NFA Council),” the President added.
Marcos, quoted by the Palace, said the change “[aims to] improving farmers’ income and ensuring sufficient supply of the staple.” Marcos is concurrently the country’s agriculture secretary.
The NFA, in the Palace release, said “the originally proposed P20 and P25 buying price are just too high and will spike retail prices.” The Palace, citing the NFA, claimed the decreased buying price range “balances the profit of farmers and will not affect the retail prices as much.”
Malacañang said the NFA determined the new price range “to give Filipino farmers better income.” The Palace also quoted Marcos as saying palay production cost nowadays was “reasonable.”
“With the new decided price range, it balances the profit of farmers and will not affect the retail prices as much,” said the Palace in its statement, quoting the NFA.
The NFA estimates that P15 billion will be needed to buy dry palay at P23 a kilo, and around P16 billion will be needed if buying prices are pegged at P25 per kilo.
The NFA does not sell rice to the market, but it is tasked to maintain a buffer stock of rice for emergencies and calamities.
The agency added that it will also be buying palay from areas with excess supply. National Economic and Development Authority chief Arsenio Balisacan, said Malacañang, opined that this would “help elevate farm gate prices.” – Rappler.com