Marcos Jr. administration

Marcos insists ‘rice supply sufficient,’ warns against ‘hoarders, manipulators’

Bea Cupin

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Marcos insists ‘rice supply sufficient,’ warns against ‘hoarders, manipulators’

PRICE CAP. Rice dealers display rice and their prices at the Trabajo Market in Sampaloc, Manila, on August 10, 2023.


The President orders the agriculture and trade departments to 'closely monitor the prices of rice in the different markets' – a task the two departments already perform regularly

MANILA, Philippines – More than a month after first ordering a probe into the supposed smuggling of onions and other agricultural goods, and amid a House briefing on rice production and supply, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday, August 16, said he’d “go after hoarders and price manipulators.”

At the Marcos-aligned lower house, the Department of Agriculture (DA) presented rice outlook data that showed supply would exceed demand for the remaining months of 2023. The department, which Marcos himself leads, was represented by Undersecretaries Mercedita Sombilla and Leocadio Sebastian.

In a media statement, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) insisted, in all caps, that “RICE SUPPLY IS SUFFICIENT.”

“Prices are, however, very variable. The government is working with the private sector to rationalize the prices and make available affordable rice in the market and in Kadiwa,” said the PCO, referring to a DA-led program that’s meant to bring producers and farmers closer to consumers.

“The President will go after hoarders and price manipulators who take advantage of the lean months before harvest season,” added the PCO.

Marcos, said the PCO, ordered both the DA and the trade department to “closely monitor the prices of rice in the different markets,” a task they already do daily.

The supply of rice in the country has been a major concern for the administration, given the anticipated effects of El Niño, Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and India’s move to ban rice exports.

Media releases from the Palace have sought to communicate that the DA is on top of this. Recent releases highlighted updates on the DA’s discussions with Vietnam and India – for the former to offer better prices for Philippine imports, and for the latter to allow rice exports “on humanitarian grounds.”

In the Philippines, it’s private entities that import rice, although the National Food Authority may also do so in the event of an emergency.

Marcos has led the DA since his administration began in June 2022, despite calls from all sectors – including his own allies – that it’s time he appoint a full-time agriculture secretary. The President has dismissed those calls, arguing that he’ll only step down once he accomplishes a list of goals that he has not fully elaborated on. –

Alarmed over smuggling, sorry state of agriculture, senators call for full-time DA secretary

Alarmed over smuggling, sorry state of agriculture, senators call for full-time DA secretary

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.