State Dining Room, Malacañan Palace
September 4, 2023

Before departing for Jakarta, Indonesia to participate in the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. presided over a meeting with several government agencies at the State Dining Room in Malacañan Palace.

The meeting discussed mitigating measures for rice retailers affected by Executive Order (E.O.) No. 39, series 2023 or the Imposition of Mandated Price Ceilings on Rice. Upon the joint recommendation of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the mandated price ceiling of regular milled rice is at PhP41.00 per kilogram and well-milled rice is at PhP45.00 per kilogram.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary Dominic Tolentino Jr. tackled the various concerns raised by the retailers, traders and farmers cooperatives, as well as several assistance they are seeking from the government.

Among the proposed measures are financial assistance to retailers in wet markets and neighborhood sundry stores (sari-sari stores) to cover the difference between the cost of the current inventory of rice and the price ceiling; loan programs; logistics support like providing government transportation for transferring sacks of rice from traders to retailers/wholesalers; market linkages and support such as linking local rice farmers with supermarket chains and other retailers, and finding alternative markets; and Kadiwa-Diskwento Caravan wherein for current rice stocks that were purchased at the level of price ceiling or above, these stocks will be transported to the Kadiwa-Diskwento Caravan sites and sell directly to consumers.

Furthermore, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian presented the proposed livelihood assistance or the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) for small-scale rice retailers and the proposed social safety net for affected rice retailers.