Like its neighboring countries, the Philippines will also increase its buffer stock of rice in preparation of the looming El Niño phenomenon.
President Marcos said this while addressing beneficiaries in Zamboanga Sibugay on Tuesday, Sept. 19, assuring them that the government will prevent the further increase of rice prices when the phenomenon strikes the country.
"Dadagdagan natin. Gagawin natin mas malaki ang buffer stock para medyo mayroon – hindi na natin dapat makita ang biglang pagtaas ng mga presyo (We will increase our buffer stock so that we will no longer see a sudden prices increase)," Marcos said as he led the distribution of confiscated smuggled rice to beneficiaries.
He cited that the Philippines, like Indonesia, China, Thailand, Singapore, and other countries are buying rice to sustain their buffer stock.
This situation, he said, also triggers high prices of rice so he decided to order a price cap on rice.
"Ang nangyayari nag-aabang ang mga iba’t ibang bansa sa Asya sa darating na El Niño sa susunod na ilang buwan. Kaya’t nakikita na namin na pagdating ng El Niño medyo nagtagtuyot, hindi maganda masyado ang magiging ani dahil hindi umuulan nang sapat (Countries in Asia are anticipating El Niño in the coming months. So, we are already expecting dry spell causing low harvest)," Marcos said.
"Kaya’t lahat ng mga iba’t ibang bansa sa Asya ay tinitiyak na mayroon silang reserve, mayroon silang buffer stock. At kaya’t naghahabulan. Kaya’t nagtaasan ang presyo dahil lahat – ang Indonesia bumibili, ang China bumibili, tayo bumibili, Thailand bumibili, Singapore – lahat bumibili. Kaya’t sabay-sabay silang bumibili, sumasabay din ang pag-akyat ng bigas. Kaya’t kailangan natin lagyan nga ng price cap (This is why other countries in Asia are ensuring that they have enough buffer stock. They are racing to buy. Prices are rising because all—Indonesia, China, Thailand, Singapore are buying. They are buying at the same, causing prices to increase)," he added.
Marcos has ordered a price ceiling of P41 per kilogram for regular milled rice and P45 per kilogram for well-milled rice.
On Monday, Sept. 18, the National Food Authority (NFA) Council set a new price range for buying palay in response to the changing production and market conditions.
The buying price for dry palay is now at P23 from P19, and P19 for the wet palay from the previous P16.