Press Releases

Salceda: “Marcos rice price gambit works” as a signal to the global markets

September 4th, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) says he supports the setting of a rice price ceiling “as a signal against potential price manipulation and hoarding in the domestic rice market” and that “it worked” as a signal to the global market.

“It’s a gambit that worked with the global rice market. As long as we have a gameplan for the next steps – such as boosting local rice supply and diversifying our import sources – we will come out of this crisis strong,” Salceda said.

“As an initial and immediate action to address abuse in the rice market, it’s a good idea. The long-term solution is to make sure we increase both our domestic supply and diversify our sources of imports. I am certain the Department of Agriculture is already working on these,” Salceda added.

“As a signal to the global market, the actions of the Marcos administration have also worked. You see, the behavior of the Philippines massively affects the movement of global rice prices. So, our signalling that we will be aggressive against price manipulation seems to have shown the world market that we will not condone artificial jumps in the price of rice.”

Salceda said that as a sign that the initial shock in price last July were “artificial,” the Albay solon and House tax chair cited world rice spot prices, which, at USD 332.4 per metric ton are now lower than the July peak of USD 384, and is almost at the pre-Indian export ban price of USD 332.

“What that is basically saying is that we should be able to source from other countries. ASEAN partners like Vietnam and Thailand are also some of the world’s leading producers. We should work on hammering out agreements with them by now.”

Salceda also said that the country should consider sourcing from other non-ASEAN countries like Pakistan and the United States.

“We also did something similar during an earlier rice price crisis, in 2008, when the NFA imported rice from California and distributed it to its outlets.”

“We’ve seen this crisis before. We know how to deal with it. It mostly involves signalling to our world partners that we will not over-import, so that they don’t anticipate and drive prices up.”

Salceda recalled that during the 2008 rice price crisis, India undertook a similar export ban which also disturbed the world rice markets and sent the price of rice in the Philippines upward.

“This will dissipate because the source of the world price increase is artificial. The world price situation is also starting to normalize,” Salceda added.

Make EO 39 more responsive to regional conditions

Salceda however appealed that the Executive Order No. 39, which set the national rice price ceiling “be made more flexible to address regional market conditions.”

“The situation will vary per region, so a national rice price ceiling should be made more responsive to local supply-demand dynamics.”

“In rice deficit or totally rice-dependent areas like NCR, the situation will be different from, say, a rice-surplus region like Region II. So, some update to that EO will be necessary most likely when it plays out later.”

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