MANILA- The Department of Agriculture (DA) will sell commercial rice at a lower price amid concerns over depleting supplies of government-subsidized rice.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Thursday said his department will sell commercial rice at P38 per kilo at the Quezon City headquarters.
"The DA on its own, we will start selling rice in Metro Manila. Isang outlet lang muna sa harap ng DA office and we will price our rice at P38 per kilo, commercial rice," he said.
The average retail price of well-milled rice was P42.51 in the fourth week of January 2018, according to government data.
The move comes amid a shortage of the National Food Authority's (NFA) buffer stock of rice.
The agriculture chief also emphasized that rice traders have no reason to increase market prices as the country has enough rice supply.
"Walang dahilan para taasan ang presyo ng bigas. Walang dahilan. Anong kulang? NFA lang ang kulang. Ang dami nating bigas," he said.
Piñol called on the Department of Trade and Industry to monitor rice prices in the market.