Dagupan rice retailers resist selling at a loss

By September 10, 2023Business


MOST, if not all, rice retailers in Pangasinan were resisting to comply with the price cap set under an executive order of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. because of considerable daily losses.

This was gathered when personnel of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) started listing names of rice retailers for monitoring compliance by rice vendors in Dagupan City to the imposed price caps:  P41 per kilogram for regular- milled rice, and P45 per kilo for well-milled rice as mandated in Executive Order No. 39 issued on August 31, 2023 by  the president.

Representatives of  the City Market Division and the City Agriculture Office and DTI checked identities and locations of stalls in the Malimgas Markets and all other markets of Dagupan on Tuesday in coordination with the mayor’s office.

Not a single rice retailer of Dagupan City expressed willingness to comply with price caps because their present inventory were bought from their regular suppliers at prices much higher than the prescribed P41 and P45 per kilo.

Many said they will be forced to close their stalls if the government will force them to sell rice at a loss.

Based on price tags of rice in stalls of rice retailers in Dagupan, the cheapest rice that they were selling was pegged at P49 per kilo and the premium rice from P56 to P60 per kilo.

Before leaving for the ASEAN Summit in Indonesia, President Marcos directed the DTI,  and Departments of Agriculture and Social Welfare and Development to prepare a subsidy for rice retailers at P15,000 each so that the intent of E.O. can be met.

However, retailers said the planned P15,000 subsidy cannot even cover purchase costs.

DTI, DA and the Department of the Interior and Local Government will strictly monitor selling activities of rice retailers who received their subsidy.

The price cap on rice is reportedly expected to last till the start of rice harvest season on October and the first shipment of imported rice from abroad has arrived. (Leonardo Micua)

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