‘Bantay Presyo’ monitors rice prices
By Connie Calipay
LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Agriculture (DA) 5 (Bicol) is stepping up its monitoring and inspection procedures for all retailers to ensure their compliance with the rice price ceiling mandated in Executive Order (EO) 39 issued by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
In an interview on Friday, Lovella Guarin, DA-Bicol spokesperson, said the agency’s Bantay Presyo Task Force (TF) for Bicol has begun conducting daily monitoring in the different public markets, supermarkets, and even small grocery stores in all the towns and cities in the region.
Before EO 39 was issued, the task force conducted the monitoring every week.
“The Bantay Presyo Task Force for Bicol has been strengthened since the implementation of the EO 39. We are now conducting daily monitoring of agriculture commodities in the markets. We see to it that the retailers are compliant with the price cap. DA-Bicol also submits daily reports to Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban on the status of compliance from the ground,” Guarin said.
She said so far, most rice retailers in the region are compliant with the rice price ceiling.
“Based on the monitoring of our personnel in the different municipalities and cities in the region, the rice price ceiling is being followed by the retailers,” Guarin said.
Under the EO, retailers must sell regular milled rice for PHP41 per kg. and well-milled rice for PHP45 per kg.
“For the municipal level, we have the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division personnel and for the provincial level, the Agricultural Program Coordinating Office staff monitors the situation,” she said.
Guarin also assured a sufficient supply of rice for the last four months of the year.
“Mag-aani na ang ating mga farmers ngayong buwan at sa October (Our farmers will start harvesting this month and in October) so the supply for the region will be enough,” she said.
Guarin said they would continue to monitor the implementation of EO 39 together with other concerned agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, National Food Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the local government units. (PNA)