Villar: No rice shortage in PH; it’s all with traders
SENATOR Cynthia Villar on Tuesday said she thinks there is no rice shortage in the country and that the rice that should have been in the market are just stocked in the storage of traders.
“For me, there is no shortage, I think what happened is all the supply of rice went into the hands of the traders,” she said during the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum.
Villar’s statement came weeks after the National Food Authority (NFA) admitted that around 300,000 sacks of rice stored in Subic and Albay were infested with “bokbok” or weevils.
A state of calamity was also declared earlier in Zamboanga City due to rice shortage.
Meanwhile, Villar called on the NFA to “protect” both the farmers and rice consumers with such scenario.
“When all your supply of rice is in the hands of the traders, then, of course, the traders would like to maximize their profit. That is what happens, from my point of view,” she explained.
She suggested that a price ceiling on rice be imposed as the NFA cannot stop the traders from continuing their practice.
“I am telling them now that you cannot stop the traders, they have to make money, what you can do is do a price ceiling,” Villar said.
“Kahit sila (Even if they want to) make money, you limit it to a reasonable income… Kasi (Because) under the Price Act, you are allowed, if you feel that there is a manipulation of prices of basic commodities, then the government can impose price ceiling,” she said.
As this developed, President Rodrigo Duterte also told the Filipino community during his visit to Israel that there is no nationwide rice shortage in the country. /Inquirer.net
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