MANILA — Dismantling rice cartel should be the primary focus of newly-appointed National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Arthur Juan to reverse the skyrockting price of rice.
This was the friendly advise of Anakpawis party list Rep. Fernando Hicap to Juan who is facing gargantuan problem and needs to focus his attention to rice hoarders and dismantling of rice cartel to force them flood the market.
Hicap, who is a farmer by profession turned politican, said that greedy rice traders who want to triple or even quadrupple their earnings should be taught a lesson by sending them to jail to send strong signal that the government mean business.
According to data from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, average domestic prices of regular milled rice increased to around Php 37,020 (around US$ 844) per ton in June 2014, up about 22 percent from around Php 30,340 (around US$ 710) per ton in June 2013.
Average domestic prices of well milled rice increased to around Php 39,860 (around 9) per ton in June 2014, up about 20% from around Php 33,180 (around US$ 770) per ton in June 2013.
Based on estimates, the Philippines imported around 2 million tons of rice from July 2013 to June this year, including around 500,000 metric tons of unofficial rice imports.
In an inquiry into the Committees on Agriculture and Food and Food Security on the rising prices of rice and other food produce, Hicap said there is a need for Congress to look into existing policies on importation that allowed the dumping of imported rice, vegetables, poultry and livestock in the local market that is among the culprit of rising prices.