Rice retailer: P15,000 subsidy may not be enough to some vendors
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The distribution of the P15,000 cash assistance to the affected rice retailers will start on September 14.
However, Erwin Gok-ong, vice president of Grain Retailers Confederation of the Philippines in Cebu City North District, has something to say.
He said in a news forum on Tuesday, that the P15,000 would not be enough to those retailers who could sell more sacks of rice in a day, but the amount would be good to those who could sell two to three sacks of rice a day.
“Nagbaligya ko karon og RMR (regular milled rice), tag P41 (per kilo), ang puhunan nako ana kay P46. Nagbaligya ko’g WMR (well-milled rice), tag P45 (per kilo), ang puhunan nako ana kay P52. Nisulti ko ni DTI nga ibaligya ko ni, sacrifice, pero maglimit ko og tulo ka kilo kada customer lamang,” he said.
(I am selling today RMR, which is P41 (per kilo), my capital for this is P46. I am selling WMR, for P45 (per kilo), the capital for this is P52. I told DTI that I will sell this, but I have limited this to three kilos per customer.)
He said that with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that if he would not limit his sales, it would be difficult for him to pay his balance to his rice suppliers.
Rice retailer: Rice aid not enough
To him, the P15,000 subsidy is not enough for him, based on their store’s sales. He requested a maximum of P70,000.
“Pero kung muingon sila’g P15,000 ilang pa ayuda, ipa-igo na lang pod namo, moalkansi mi mga P20 para pod naa sad mi contribution sa gobyerno,” he said.
(But if they would say that their financial aid is P15,000, I will let this be a go, we will be losing P20 so that in a way we can contribute to the government.)
Gok-ong said that if they would be going to implement the mandate, they should be experts in identifying the well-milled rice (WMR) and regular-milled rice (RMR).
“Ang mga taw unya nga mo-implementar niini, kahibaw ba og usay regular-milled rice (RMR)? Unsa man specification ilang basehan? Ang manual sa National Food Authority or dunay silay ilang kaugalingon basehan unsay RMR?” he said.
Rice retailer: They will go bankrupt if…
(The people who will implement this, do they know what regular-milled rice (RMR) is? What are the specifications that they based this? The manual of the National Food Authority or do they have a base on what an RMR is?)
He also said that it would be difficult to sell RMR at P41 when the capital would already be at P39 in Cebu, and for the WMR at P45 when the capital would be at P42 to P43.
“Dapat kung asa mi mangumpra, mohatag sad ang gobyerno namo og barato nga bugas nga puhunan…unya manga-bankrupt nami,” he said.
(They should look at where we buy [our rice], the government should also give us a cheap price as capital for the rice …if not we will all go bankrupt.)
Rice retailer: Aid can help
Meanwhile, to Jennifer Calago, 27, rice retailer in T. Padilla Public Market in Cebu City, told reporters on Tuesday that the subsidy was enough for them.
“Makatabang ra man gihapon siya (cash assistance) kay wala man sad kaayo tay stock sa well-milled rice,” she said.
(It can, however, help us (cash assistance) because we don’t have a lot of stock of the well-milled rice.)
The original price of their WMR was P49 per kilo.
However, they could not adjust the price of their RMR because they bought their stock at a higher price before the mandate took effect, and they would suffer loss if they set it to the mandated price ceiling.
Their RMR are sold at P51 per kilo.
Price monitoring, profiling
She added that they decided to comply with the mandate because the DTI had been checking them regularly.
The Executive Order (EO) 39 of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took effect on September 5, Tuesday.
Under his EO, the price ceiling for the regular-milled rice is at P41 per kilo while the well-milled rice is at P45 per kilo.
Since then, the DTI and the Department of Agriculture have been working with profiling and monitoring the rice retailers, wholesalers, and traders among others to check how much the EO would impact their sales.
Through profiling, they would be able to identify who would qualifiy to be given cash assistance.
The distribution of the financial assistance to qualified rice retailers on September 14 in Cebu will be in the following venues: Carbon Public Market, Minglanilla Public Market, and Consolacion Public Market.
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