If DA and DTI both refuse to properly address the queries, the Eastern Visayas public might see this as a delaying tactic while they are still trying to come up with “excuses”, more than explanations, as to the actual implementation of the EO.
In line with the implementation of the Executive Order 39 which took effect just last September 5, retailers clamor for assistance due to loss of revenue while consumers in Eastern Visayas are still confused regarding the implementation.
Under EO 39, the mandated price of regular milled rice is P41 per kilogram while well-milled rice should be sold at P45 per kilogram.
However, several small store owners still refuse to adhere to the EO. Hence, the public is now asking to hear from both the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as to how theywill handle its violators or are they trying to be lenient in the early weeks of its effectivity.
As of this writing, both agencies still refuse to comment on the issue that is obviously affecting the mass population.
Opinyon 8, along with several other local media, reached out to DTI but was told to ask DA, and later on was bluntly told not to ask about the rice prices and its situation in the region.
Meanwhile, the DA allegedly said in an interview that their actions are merely limited to price monitoring of local rice in large markets in the region.
Furthermore, with the implementation of the price cap which is at P41-P45 per kilo, the agency said they can’t force retailers to abide, particularly in the areas of Southern Leyte and Maasin area which are still recovering from damage caused by typhoons in the previous years.
A statement which contradicts President Marcos’ earlier encouragement for the public to report violators to DA and other concerned agencies.
So, does EO 39 have fangs that are enough to punish or at least sanction its violators?
Why the silent treatment when the public wants answers?
Will they side with the suffering retailers or the complaining consumers who simply want to benefit from EO 39?
If both agencies still refuse to properly address the queries they are trying to avoid, the public might see this as a delaying tactic while they are still trying to come up with “excuses”, more than explanations, as to the actual implementation of the EO in the region.
And while they delay, it’s the ordinary people who are affected the most in each day that passes.
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