The price of regular-milled rice fell 12.3 percent in the first week of January to P36.53 per kilogram to P41.63/kg in the same week of December, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The Agriculture Department noted the price was the lowest in a six-year period since the third week of January 2014 when it declined to P36.46/kg.
“Consumers are now reaping the benefits of a lower price of rice, which is the heart and soul of the rice tariffication law,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
The average price of well-milled rice was cheaper by 11 percent at P37.24/kg in the first week of January compared with P41.82/kg during the same period in January 2019.
Dar assured consumers and farmers that the Department would pursue the efficient implementation of the four component programs of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund as called for under the RTL.
“We are pleased to hear the PSA report on the declining rice prices, benefiting millions of our countrymen. From here on, we will even work harder to sustain reasonable rice prices, coupled with efforts to empower our farmers by providing them quality seeds, needed farm machinery, credit, modern technology, and training,” he said.
He added the major components of the rice fund were in full swing. They include the provision of farm machinery, quality seeds, credit, package of technology and training, backed up by assured funding of P10 billion yearly for the next six years.
The Department’s Philippine Rice Research Institute has to date obligated a total of P2.56 billion for seeds and distributed P552.6 million worth or around 893,433 bags to thousands of farmers in 557 out of 798 municipalities nationwide.
Under the mechanization component, identification, evaluation, and field validation of farmers’ cooperatives are ongoing. They will be granted with P3 billion worth of various farm machinery starting the first semester of 2020.