Given the rise in inflation in the Philippines it is certainly good that a basic foodstuff such as rice is available at these subsidized prices. Perhaps the IMF and World Bank may be critical that Arroyo is not letting the Holy Invisible Hand to work its wonders. I am not sure how exactly the subsidized rice is distributed. When I lived in the Philippines a couple of years ago we certainly paid more than 18 pesos a kilo. The rice we bought was about 27 to 30 pesos a kilo. This must be the commercially sold rice the article mentions that now sells for 35 to 40 pesos a kilo. We lived in the Philippines over two years ago.
Philippines maintains cheapest price of subsidized rice in Asia
www.chinaview.cn 2008-07-14 21:58:05
MANILA, July 14 (Xinhua) -- As the world food prices continue to rise, the price of rice in the Philippines is still cheaper compared to other nations in Asia, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said on Monday.
She said that in Thailand the price of rice is 56 pesos (1.23 U.S. dollars) per kilo, while in Vietnam it is 67 pesos (1.47 dollars). Thailand and Vietnam are the sources of the country's imported rice which is now being sold at 18.25 pesos (0.40 dollars) and 25 pesos (0.547 dollars) per kilo by the National Food Authority (NFA).
Currently, the commercial rice is sold in the market from 35 to40 pesos (0.77 to 0.88 dollars).
"So when we have commercial rice sold at 35 pesos, that's a blessing," the president said in a speech.
The president said that compared to the 25.30 pesos (0.55 dollars) per kilo in Indonesia and 27 pesos (0.59 dollars) per kilo in Malaysia, the country's subsidized rice is still cheaper.
Despite the rice crisis, the president said the national food self-sufficiency and the national fuel conservation are the first principle and state thrust.
"We have a solid plan to attain self-sufficiency in rice in the very near future," the president said as she revealed that the government has already spent two years to increase productivity of rice with the help of the International Rice Research Institute.
The president also said the government has its best response in the longer term to address the global commodity crisis by building up tourism, primary exports and business process outsourcing in the country.