SHOULD government authorities allow profiteering rice traders and retailers to continue victimizing the country’s beleaguered consumers, particularly the poorest of the poor?
Various sectors of society do not think so. The government ought to hit hard at these erring traders at a time when prices of certain goods are now going beyond the reach of poor Pinoys.
Thus, we commend the government for ordering rice traders and retailers to comply with the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for both local and imported rice being sold in the country.
In fact, starting November 9 (Friday), rice traders and retailers who don’t comply with the SRP face sanctions, according to Secretary Emmanuel Piñol of the Department of Agriculture.
Piñol, a retired newspaperman and a former governor of North Cotabato, said SRP violators face a jail sentence of from four months to four years and a penalty of up to P1 million.
For the first offense, a violator will be issued a written warning, but he/she will be penalized for succeeding offenses.
On the same day, November 9, the National Food Authority (NFA) will announce the implementation of the SRP Program covering all provinces and cities in the country.
Likewise, Piñol directed the country’s retailers to stop using fancy names for rice, like “Senandomeng,” “Super Angelica,” “Double Diamond” and others which mislead consumers.
In the view of many, the issuance of the long-awaited SRP is ample proof that the government is really after the welfare of the people, particularly the unfortunate members of society.
It demonstrated anew the capacity to uphold the interest of the general public during trying times.