The current issue about rice is troubling.
My mom usually buys about 10 kilos of rice every week (feeding six, five of them boys, excluding visitors; add one if my older brother comes home;). A month ago, she got this variety of rice for Php 26 a kilo. The same variety now costs Php 34 per kilo. The price keeps on increasing by a peso per week, she told me last night.
Simple law of supply and demand tells us that there will be a price increase when demand is high and supply is low. The Arroyo administration claims that there is no supply problem, that there is ample supply of rice. Yet, a month ago, the Secretary of Agriculture, Arthur Yap told restaurants and fastfood chains to serve rice in half of the usual serving. Why serve half-rice if the supply is sufficient?
After several months of dilly-dallying on whether there is a rice crisis or not, the Arroyo regime began a crackdown on alleged rice hoarders. Despite these high-profile raids, the price of commercial rice continues to shoot up, and there is no end in sight for such increases. And legitimate rice traders are threatening to go on a rice holiday if the raids (that they consider as indiscriminate) continue.
The regime has yet to define its parameters for raiding rice warehouses. I mean, how many cavans of rice must a warehouse contain to consider it hoarding?
Also, the rice being sold by the National Food Authority is a bestseller nowadays. Let’s face it: life is hard nowadays, and even some of the middle class buy NFA rice to save.
The administration must show why are these things happening right now. If there is ample supply, the price increase should be not that substantial. But its actions betray the problem: asking Vietnam for assurances of supply, importing from the US, asking restaurants for half-rice servings.
If things come to an explosion, this regime has no one to blame but itself. Too bad transparency has never been one of its virtues.
Do you think there is a rice crisis?
This is a DigitalFilipino.com Club sponsored post for resume maker.