Thu, 27 Jun 2019

MAASIN CITY, Dec. 6 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has advised businessmen engaged in the rice industry to look closely the way they do business to cushion potential adverse impact on the expected price ceiling on rice.

Michael Nunez, DTI provincial director, aired the call twice, first at the dialogue initiated by the National Food Authority (NFA) last week with concerned rice retailers and millers and, second, during the Kapihan forum Friday where he was the guest.

In both instances, Nunez encouraged the traders to seriously consider doing sound management practices with regards to how they conduct daily operations in the commercial grains business, like having enough inventory to last until the next harvest season, or hold off hiring more personnel to save on costs.

During the launching event for the suggested retail price on rice Tuesday last week, John Robert Hermano, NFA regional director, told those directly involved in the grains business to dispose their current stocks until November 30, 2018 only.

Starting on December 1, 2018, the highest price of rice based on the SRP will only be P47 per kg, so those having price tags of more than P50 per kg must follow, Hermano declared, adding that this has worked in other cities like Tacloban and Ormoc, so there's no reason this cannot be done hereabouts.

At the Kapihan forum, Nunez clarified that even as DTI is now mandated to assist NFA in monitoring rice SRP in the market by December 1 for DTI's internal use, those who may notice non-compliant rice stores are advised to go direct to the NFA office to complain.

He said in the light of this development on the implementation of SRP on a basic food staple like rice, the DTI is contemplating on calling all involved retailers, wholesalers, and millers to retool them on practical sound management practices.

He also called on the big traders and millers to do away with having a "canvasser," or at least start distancing with them, again as a way to save on cost.

Canvassers serve as the link between traders and farmers, earning P500 per sack, an expense passed on to consumers, according to a statement of a trader during the NFA-led forum based on actual experience. (LDL/MMP/PIA8-Southern Leyte)

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