By LITO RULONA
COMMERCIAL rice prices in the city’s public markets started to plunge after government officials launched yesterday the prescribed labeling and suggested retail prices for milled rice.
National Food Authority regional director Dianne Silva said the government has come up with the suggested retail prices for local and imported rice sold in the local markets for the benefit of the “common tao.”
The formal launch was held at Cogon market, the city’s busiest and biggest public market, by the NFA, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Cagayan de Oro City Price Coordinating Council, and the city council’s committee on trade, commerce and industry.
Silva said the selling prices of commercial rice that was sold from P48 to P60 a kilo are now lowered to P39 to P47.
Silva said the order was in compliance to Memorandum Circular AO-2018-10-002 or the “General Guidelines on the Suggested Retail Price for Milled Rice and Prescribed Labelling of Rice Boxes and Price Tags” issued by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Oct. 30, 2018. Piñol is also the NFA Council chairman.
Silva said the four classifications of milled rice are regular, well-milled, premium grade and special rice. These are to be sold based on the suggested retail prices except for special rice that covers organic, Cordillera heirloom, and other indigenous varieties.
The suggested retail prices for imported rice are P39 per kilo for well-milled, P40 per kilo for imported premium Grade 2, and P43 per kilo for premium Grade 1.
The suggested retail prices for local rice: P39 per kilo for regular milled, P44 per kilo for well-milled, and P47 per kilo for premium grade.
The government also banned the use of brand names like Sinandomeng, Dinorado, and Angelica to avoid deceptive labeling. These brands will be placed under premium grade rice classification, according to Silva.
Silva said penalties and sanctions would be imposed on retailers who would not follow the suggested retail prices. These include possible revocation of licenses, corresponding fines, as well as criminal charges from four months to four years.