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Rice price caps gain support from farmers, fisherfolks

Rice farmer

Key stakeholders from the agriculture sector in MIMAROPA and Eastern Visayas regions have expressed their support for the issuance of Executive Order (EO) No. 39 by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., which sets price ceilings on rice in the whole country.

EO 39, signed by the President and issued on August 31, takes effect today, September 5, and sets the price for regular milled rice in the market nationwide at PhP41.00 while the price cap for well-milled rice is PhP45.00.

Bantay Buklura ARBs and Farmers’ Association President Lilian Macalood said that they support the decision of President Marcos to implement the mandated price ceilings on rice as they hope that the prices of rice will remain consistent.

“Sumusuporta ako sa desisyon ng ating Pangulo na hanggang doon lang ‘yung price ceiling at sana ay hindi na tumaas dahil sa sobrang taas na halos hindi na makaagapay ang ating mga mamamayan at lalong-lalo naman na ang mga nagtatanim ng palay o magsasaka,” Macalood said.

Macalood added that they are greatly affected by the surge of prices of rice in the market.

“Kaya sana ‘yang tinakdang presyo ng ating Pangulo ang masunod at hindi itatago ng mga retailer o nag-seller nang huwag nang taasan ‘yan kasi hindi na talaga makaagapay ang mga mamayan sa sobrang taas. Bakit nagkakaganoon?” she quipped.

Palawan ARC Cooperative Federation General Manager Reymundo Imaysay also expressed his support for the implementation of the mandated rice price caps in the market as he sees the good intention of the executive order, especially when successfully enforced.

Reymundo believes that President Marcos’ order will eliminate the unhealthy competition among rice traders who are taking advantage of the situation and will also get rid of the abusive cartels who are playing big in the price manipulation of rice.

“Magiging outcome nun ay makabenepisyo ‘yung ating mga magsasaka at the same time kung ang presyo ng ‘yung price ceiling na ‘yan ay hanggang doon lang, so ibig sabihin makabenepisyo rin ‘yung ating mga mamimili, makabili sila ng murang mga produkto o bigas na ibebenta ng ating mga kooperatiba o kaya mga magsasaka,” Reymundo said.

Carolina Pacheco Joson, member of the Malsada Pisco farmers’ group in Leyte, echoed the sentiments of Macalood and Reymundo as she thanked President Marcos for coming up with the executive order since consumers will now be able to buy their products at a reasonable price.

“Malipayon na an mga parag-uma tungod kay aadi na ha amon mapalit an mga consumers ha amon han bugas didi ha Malsada Pisco. Damu nga salamat hini nga higayon nga guin hatag ni President ngadi han mga parag-uma. (The farmers are now happy because the rice consumers will now buy our products in Malsada Pisco. Thank you very much to President Marcos for the opportunity you have given us, farmers),” Joson said in the vernacular.

Other members of farmer groups such as the San Isidro Organic Farmers Association of Brgy. San Isidro Sta. Fe, Leyte, the Yabong Kabuhayan ng Gatud (Yakag) DARPO-Oriental Mindoro of Gatud, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, the Genero ARB MPC of DAR-Occidental Mindoro and the Dubduban Farmers and Fisherfolks have also expressed their support for the new order.

“Kami nasuporta han mandated price ceiling han bugas kay daku ini nga bulig ha amon nga mga parag-uma. Damu ng salamat President Marcos han imo bulig ha amon. (We support the mandated price ceilings on rice because this is a big help for us farmers. Thank you, President Marcos, for this big help to us),” the San Isidro Organic Farmers Association said in vernacular.

Before departing for Jakarta, Indonesia on Monday to participate in the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, President Marcos has committed to provide aid for rice retailers who would be adversely affected by the imposed price ceiling on rice. | PND

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