DTI-Iloilo profiling reveals rice retailers renting privately-owned stalls

(Rjay Zuriaga Castor photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The Department of Trade Industry (DTI) Iloilo has discovered that some rice retailers in the province and city are selling rice while leasing stalls from private store owners.

The discovery comes after the monitoring and profiling of rice retailers during the implementation of the government-imposed retail price ceiling on well-milled rice and regular-milled rice.

Ma. Dorita Chavez, Officer-in-charge Division Chief and Senior Trade Industry Development Specialist, said that many rice retailers were not properly registered, especially those renting stalls in markets where the stalls themselves were registered under the owners’ names.

“During sang profiling is damo sang mga rice retailers ang wala nakaregister […] nga ang mga stalls sa market may mga owner gid. Ang gin himo sang iban na nga owner, gin pa rentahan wherein nga ang naga renta is indi pwede i-register sa ila pangalan,” Chavez said in press conference on Monday.

Chavez noted that their profiling is somehow a “blessing in disguise” since they can now correct the status of several rice retailers and accurately account for the number of retailers in specific markets.

“Kung basehan natun ang BPLO nga listings, stall owners lang ang nakabutang, indi ang actual nga nagabaligya,” she said.

The DTI-Iloilo further encouraged renting rice retailers to also process their documents with the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) for them to be recognized and to avail of benefits of the government in the future.

“Ang registration is indi siya siling nga ginaangkon ang stall. Lainang tag-iya sang stall owner but ikaw us naga occupy dira dapat may imo gid yah nga registration,” Chavez furthered.

DTI-Iloilo reported that the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office has disbursed a total of P10.71 million to 741 rice retailers who received one-time cash assistance of P15,000.

The town of Estancia has the highest number at 66, followed by Iloilo City with 34.

Chavez said throughout their monitoring and profiling, DTI-Iloilo has not sanctioned rice retailers that were caught selling beyond the imposed price ceiling.

This non-penalization scheme is in response to the request of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. during an emergency meeting with rice retailers and traders, and officials from the Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Plant Industry, during the onset of the price ceiling implementation.