Philippines hit by high global rice prices

This is from Australian Broadcasting. Vietnam along with some other Asian countries has moved to limit exports in order to have sufficient supply domestically.
Given the corruption within the Arroyo administration it remains to be seen how effective Arroyo's steps to improve the situation will be.

Philippines hit by high global rice prices

[This is the print version of story]

Philippines hit by high global rice prices
Updated March 29, 2008 18:23:43

Commercial rice prices in Philippine markets have doubled in the past days, amid a tight global supply and denials by government officials of a shortage.

Shirley Escalante reports from Manila.

Rice prices in Manila have soared to as high as a dollar and 15 cents a kilo from as low as 50 cents a kilo a week ago. People in the countryside have started complaining of a lack of supply of cheaper, government-subsidized rice in the market. Meantime, President Gloria Arroyo convened her cabinet officials to discuss measures to sustain the country's rice supply and to control soaring prices. She ordered finance officials to relax tariff rates on rice, and wants a moratorium on the conversion of agricultural land, particularly rice land, to residential areas and golf courses. Authorities have also began inspecting rice warehouses and apprehending rice hoarders. Two provincial officers of the National Food Authority, the government agency which controls rice stocks, have also been suspended for failing to stop rice hoarders.

© 2008 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
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