close up photo of rice on person s hand

Philippines Contemplates Lifting Rice Price Ceiling as Nationwide Harvest Season Nears

The Philippine government is considering the removal of the rice price ceiling within the next two weeks, coinciding with the commencement of rice harvesting across the country, according to the country’s trade secretary.

The imposition of the rice price ceiling was introduced just last week as a preventive measure to curb rising rice prices. It’s worth noting that the Philippines ranks among the world’s largest rice importers, and the government is actively engaged in discussions with major rice-exporting nations such as Vietnam regarding rice imports.

In August, inflation resulting from rice prices in the Philippines surged to its highest level in nearly five years. This development underscores the ongoing rice crisis in the country, which originally emerged in 2018 and led to the lifting of a 20-year-old import restriction. President Ferdinand Marcos Junia, a former agriculture secretary, was instrumental in setting the rice price ceiling on September 5 to address the escalating retail costs, amidst reports of hoarding by traders.

Recent data indicates that approximately 95% of retailers have complied with the price cap measures. The Ministry has issued warnings to those who fail to adhere to these regulations.

In a statement from the Communications Office of President Marcos, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Leo Sebastian, expressed optimism about domestic rice production, projecting that it will exceed 11 million metric tons in the second half of 2023. He added, “If no typhoons occur in the remaining months of the year, we anticipate production reaching 20 million tons.”

This production forecast aligns with the 2022 output of 19.76 million metric tons. In the first half of this year, production increased by 3% to reach 9 million metric tons, showcasing resilience in the Philippine rice industry.

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