SRP for rice to start on Saturday
It may take a few more days before consumers feel the relief of lower suggested retail price (SRP) on rice, although prices in the market are now beginning to decline with the start of the local harvest season.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on Tuesday that stakeholders requested a three-day buffer before the implementation of the SRP on rice varieties that was originally intended to begin yesterday.
This postponement is to give retailers time to prepare their outlets and signages, the secretary said.
The reform is expected to start on Oct. 27, Saturday, wherein rice varieties will be limited to only four with corresponding price points.
Local regular-milled and well-milled rice will be sold at no more than P39 and P44 a kilo, respectively, while imported variants will be limited to well-milled and premium rice and will be priced not higher than P39 and P43 a kilo, respectively.
Compared to market prices as of the first week of October when average retail price for a kilo of regular-milled and well-milled rice were at P45.87 and P49, respectively, the SRPs are much lower.
“There will be no SRP for special rice, which would include the Cordillera Heirloom Rice, Organic Brown, Red and Black Rice, Dinorado, Milagrosa, Jasponica, Doña Maria, Hinumay, Malido, Kamoros, Malagkit and other indigenous rice varieties,” said Piñol.
While the guidelines for the imposition of the SRP—including the enforcement of penalties and sanctions to those who will not follow the latest policy—need to be published 15 days prior to its implementation, Piñol said stakeholders agreed to follow the order earlier.
Traders and retailers who will sell beyond the 10-percent margin allowed on the corresponding SRPs face a jail term of between five and 15 years and fines up to P1 million, based on the Price Act of 1992.
The SRPs will initially cover public markets in Metro Manila first, including cities and towns in the greater Manila area, and will be reviewed every two weeks. Its formal launch will take place at the Commonwealth Market in Quezon City on Saturday morning.