Subsidies to bring rice prices down to 20 pesos per kilogram – group

Farming group Samahang Industriya ng Magsasaka (Sinag) said the rice subsidy would allow President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to fulfill his promise to lower the retail price of the main product to 20 pesos per kilo.

The group stated, however, that retail price reduction strategies for rice should not lower purchase prices.

“We can bring down the retail price of rice if we can put in place measures that reduce the cost of palay production, reduce post-harvest losses, and remove non-productive players throughout the rice supply chain,” said Sinag chief executive Jason Cainglet.

The group noted that Kadiwa stores sell rice at a subsidized price of 25 pesos per kilo. Without subsidies, retail prices for basic products in other stores range from 42 to 46 pesos per kilo. The average selling price of rice has reached 23 pesos per kilo.

“Farmers are encouraged to grow rice because prices are attractive this season,” Cainglet said in the local language.

He also said importing large quantities of rice to lower retail prices is currently not feasible as imports have become more expensive due to rising production costs as well as the weakening peso.

“Therefore, we hope that economic managers will not advise the President to push for more rice imports just to bring prices down,” he added.