MANILA - Hoarding by some traders might have caused the drop in the price of palay or rough rice, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Wednesday.
Dar said some millers and traders might have taken the implementation of a tarrification law, which eased policies on rice imports, as an excuse to hoard the staple grain.
“Even before the inaction of the Rice Tariffication Law, ‘di ba mayroon ng pagbaba ng palay prices? So, may nagsasamantala and we see to it that we will apply the full force of the law in hoarding,” he said.
(Isn’t it that here is already a drop in the price of palay even before the inaction of the rice tariffication law? So, someone is taking advantage.)
Farmers complained that the price of palay dropped to P7 to P11 a kilo due to a deluge of imported rice under the new tariff-based regime that replaced import quotas, a problem that has reached President Rodrigo Duterte, Dar said.
To address the stockpiling problem, Dar said the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry would inspect rice warehouses to ensure that traders and millers are “not managing for themselves only.”
Implementing non-tariff measures to “manage” the entry of imported rice is also being considered.