MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday admitted he did not want to impose the price cap on rice but was forced to do so because of smuggling.
At a rice distribution event in General Trias, Cavite, the president said he was alarmed by the issue of hoarding and smuggling which pushed rice prices up.
He had blamed the rising cost of rice on illegal importers, smugglers and hoarders. He then issued Executive Order 39 mandating a price ceiling of P41 for regular milled rice and P45 for well-milled rice.
“Napilitan tayo mag-price cap dahil naalarma talaga ako. Kung ako lang, ayokong pakiaalaman ang merkado ngunit di naman tama ang takbo ng merkado dahil kinakalikot ng mga hoarders, smugglers,” said Marcos.
The president, who is also the Agriculture Secretary, distributed over a thousand 25-kilo sacks of smuggled rice to poor families in General Trias on Friday.
This is part of the 41,000 sacks of rice confiscated by the Bureau of Customs, which in turn were donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The DSWD also gave fertilizers to cooperatives in the area.
Marcos promised to improve the agriculture sector and the lives of farmers.
He said the government needs to improve production, harvest, and help in the process of agricultural goods.
“Di titigilan ang pagpapaganda ng agri sector, pagpapaganda ng ating ani, cost of production, production levels, lahat po yan kailangang gawin," he said.
Marcos previously led the distribution of smuggled rice to poor families in other areas in recent weeks.