MANILA, Philippines – In his social media post on Monday (October 22), Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol explained that the supposed implementation of the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) in rice on October 23 has been moved to October 27 as industry stakeholders requested three more days to prepare.
Aside from adjustments in pricing, Piñol added that “misleading” rice names like “Senandomeng,” “Super Angelica,” and “Yummy Rice” will be replaced with proper varietal identification.
Rice industry stakeholders are now preparing the signages in retail outlets to comply with the proper pricing and labeling as agreed in Secretary Piñol’s final consultation meeting with industry stake holders at the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday.
Consequently, the following agreements on the SRP and rice retailing reforms were reached, according to the Secretary:
1 – Distinct identification of “imported” and “Filipino” rice will be imposed;
2 – Price rice identification will only be as “regular milled,” “well-milled,” “premium” and “special rice;”
3 – Fancy brand names will be banned. This includes names like “Mindoro Dinorado,” “Senandomeng,” “Super Angelica,” “Yummy Rice” and “Double Diamond” to curb mislabelling and deception in the marketing of rice;
4 – SRPs will be implemented as follow:
Imported “Well-Milled Rice” (25% Broken) – P39/kg;
Imported “Premium” rice – P43/kg;
Philippine Rice or “Regular Milled” – P39/kg;
“Well Milled” – P44/kg
“Premium Rice” – P47/kg.
Meanwhile, there will be no SRP for Special Rice. These are Cordillera Heirloom Rice, Organic Brown, Red and Black Rice, real Dinorado, Milagrosa, Jasponica, Dona Maria, Hinumay, Malido, Kamoros, Malagkit and other indigenous rice varieties.
“A set of guidelines is expected to be published for 15 days prior to enforcement of penalties and sanctions against the SRP violators,” Piñol said.
“Penalties and sanctions would include cancellation of NFA licenses, stiff fines and criminal charges,” he added.
Secretary Piñol clarified that “the SRP will initially cover Metro Manila and Suburbs only, including cities and towns in the Greater Manila Area.” – Marje Pelayo