BAGUIO CITY —The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cordillera urges local government units (LGUs) in the region to monitor and provide assistance to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) in enforcing the provisions and directives relative to the imposition of price ceilings on rice.
On September 1, 2023, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued an Executive Order No. 39 mandating, among others, the imposition of mandated price ceilings on rice upon the recommendation of the DA, and DTI, and for DILG to provide necessary support in ensuring its strict implementation.
Regional Director Araceli San Jose of the DILG CAR echoed that the DA and DTI have recommended the imposition of mandated price ceilings on rice in the Philippines following reports on the widespread practice of alleged illegal price manipulation.
“We are urging all LGUs in the Cordillera to assist the DTI and DA in ensuring strict implementation of the mandated price ceilings on rice in the market, including monitoring and investigation of abnormal price movements to protect the rights, interests, and general welfare of consumers,” she said.
She said that LGUs are tasked to establish Local Price Coordinating Councils (LPCC), whose powers and functions are to regulate the price of goods, especially those considered basic necessities and prime commodities.
“All LPCCs are urged to be in charge of coordination and rationalize programs, together with other agencies of the government, in the respective provinces, cities, and municipalities to stabilize the price and supply of rice in their areas,” RD San Jose said.
She said that LPCC should also conduct an in-depth analysis on the causes of price fluctuations in their respective territorial jurisdictions and prescribe measures to prevent excessive price increases.
RD San Jose said that local chief executives (LCEs) are likewise reminded to conduct regular inspections of public and private markets, as well as rice warehouses in their jurisdiction, if there are any, to address hoarding and exorbitant, excessive, and unreasonable price increase of rice.
“We also urge our LCEs to activate hotlines, Consumer Complaints Desk, and Timbangan ng Bayan, as well as to designate barangay officials and NGOs to monitor abnormal price increases and to actively coordinate with the DTI, DA, and other government agencies to prevent unwarranted price increases and hoarding of rice and other prime commodities,” said RD San Jose.
She added that LGUs are also reminded to extend assistance to the DA in their exercise of their regulatory and visitorial powers, in the inspection of cold storage warehouses (CSWs), and in the execution of search warrants issued against them that are determined to have violated the provisions of R.A. No. 10845 or “Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016”, R.A. No. 7581 or “Price Act,” and other related laws.
Adding, “The Philippine National Police (PNP) should extend all necessary assistance to the LGUs in the implementation of the price ceiling on rice,” she said.
To recall, the mandated cap for regular milled rice is P41 per kilogram, while the price ceiling for well-milled rice is P45 per kilogram. The price caps do not cover special and premium rice.
Meanwhile, RD San Jose also reminds LGU officials to comply. By BLM/DILG-CAR