Abalos asks help of Metro Mayors, market masters in rice price cap enforcement

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) –Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos met today with Metro Manila mayors and market masters/administrators of  public and private markets to enlist their cooperation in helping the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) enforce President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s directive of imposing mandated price ceilings on rice.

Executive Order No. 39 issued by Malacañang on August 31 set the mandated price ceilings for regular milled rice at ₱41 per kilogram and well-milled rice at ₱45 per kilogram nationwide upon the recommendation of DTI and DA.

Earlier, DA and DTI said that despite stable and sufficient rice supply, there are reports of alleged illegal price manipulation through hoarding by opportunistic traders and collusion among industry cartels which caused a surge in the prices of rice.

“Dahil sa kalokohan ng iilang mga tao na hinohoard at minamanipulate ang presyo ng bigas, galit na galit ang ating Presidente kaya ipapatupad ngayon ang mandated price ceilings sa bigas,” Abalos said.

During the meeting presided by the DILG Secretary and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes, Metro local chief executives who were present have committed their support in the implementation of EO 39 by convening their local price coordinating councils (LPCCs) and making them functional, and helping in the widest dissemination of EO 39 in their respective LGUs.

Among those who attended the meeting were Mayor Jeannie Sandoval of Malabon City, Mayor John Reynald Tiangco of Navotas City, Mayor Ike Ponce of Pateros, and Mayor Wes Gatchalian of Valenzuela City.

Abalos said he counts on the help of market masters all over the country who will play a key role in the effective implementation of the Presidential directive on rice prices cap.

“Susi ang market masters dito. Magtulungan tayong lahat para siguruhing sinusunod ang price ceilings sa bigas, kasama ang pulis at ang MMDA.  Ang importante ay magkaroon ng tuloy-tuloy na supply ng bigas sa tamang presyo,” he said.

At the same time, Abalos directed the Philippine National Police to extend assistance to the DA, DTI, and LGUs in the enforcement of EO 39 and in the performance of their regulatory and executive powers. (dilg/pia-ncr)

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