Featured image above shows Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro (foreground) interacting with a rice retailer (in blue, standing) and listening to their sacrifices during the rice price ceiling that Malacañang imposed starting on September 5. (Photo: SDN — SciTech & Digital News)
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Seeking to help rice retailers in the city affected by the imposition of a price ceiling on the sale of rice, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro signed on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, three local ordinances.
The mayor’s action followed the issuance by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. of Executive Order No. 39, Series of 2023, imposing a price cap on the sale of rice in the whole country. EO No. 39 took effect on Sept. 5, setting the price control for regular-milled rice at Php41 per kilo and well-milled rice at Php45 per kilo.
RELIEF ON RENTAL PAYMENTS
Teodoro signed Ordinance No. 68 Series of 2023 also known as “Ordinance Granting Relief on Rental Payments to Rice Retailers at the Marikina Public Market in the City of Marikina.”
“In consideration of the economic challenges due to the said imposition of a price ceiling, rice retailers who are renting stalls in the Marikina City Public Market, are hereby granted relief through the waiver of rental payments for the months of September and October, 2023,” the measure states.
The ordinance said that Marikina City recognizes the essential role of rice retailers in ensuring the availability of affordable rice to its residents and, thus, it is incumbent upon it to address the economic impact of price ceiling on rice retailers by providing relief payment on their rentals in the Marikina Public Market in order to alleviate their financial burden.
“Inulit natin ‘yung ginawa natin noong nakaraang pandemya kung saan ‘yung mga maliit na nagtitinda ng bigas sa Marikina Public Market ay hindi na muna natin sila pagbabayarin ng renta sa susunod na dalawang buwan hanggang maging stable na ang supply ng bigas at ang presyo ay manumbalik na sa dati. Iyon ang una nating panukala at sa ngayon ay pinirmahan natin bilang ordinansa,” he emphasizes.
(Translation: We repeated what we did in the past pandemic where micro retailers of rice don’t have to pay two months of rent until rice supply and price have become stable like before. That’s our first ordinance.)
RELIEF ON BUSINESS TAX PAYMENTS
The local chief executive also signed Ordinance No. 69 Series of 2023 known as the “Ordinance Granting Relief on Business Tax Payment to Rice Retailers in the City of Marikina.”
“The purpose of this ordinance is to grant tax relief to rice retailers within the jurisdiction of Marikina City who have been adversely affected by the imposition of a price cap or ceiling on rice,” the measure read.
Under the ordinance, rice retailers operating within Marikina shall be exempted from paying business taxes on their gross sales or receipts for the third and fourth quarter of this year, during which the price cap is imposed.
Rice retailers eligible for the tax relief are those in the wet markets, public markets, and other areas accessible to the general public, including sari-sari stores that are actually selling rice, it stated.
It noted that the grant of tax relief does not cover supermarkets and convenience stores.
“Marami na siyempre ang nababahala dahil ‘yung iba nating mga kababayan ay nagbabayad ng buwis nila in a quarterly basis, at maaari dahil sa pagkalugi na nararanasan nila dahil sa pagbebenta ng regular at well-milled rice sa mas mababang halaga, maaring mabawasan ‘yung kita o kaya mawala. At ‘yung pagbabayad ng buwis ay maging problema sa ilan,” the mayor notes.
(Translation: Of course, there now many who are worried because many of our townmates are paying tax on a quarterly basis, and because of losses due to selling well milled rice at low price their income would be reduced, or become nothing. And paying tax could be a problem for some.)
Last but not the least, the mayor signed Ordinance No. 70, Series of 2023, titled “Ordinance Granting Cash Assistance to Rice Retailers in the City of Marikina.”
The measure stated that the City Government of Marikina recognizes that rice retailers are partners in delivering food services to the people, and that they should be protected and assisted during economic difficulties.
The duty of the City Government of Marikina is to address the adverse economic impact of the price ceiling on rice retailers by extending financial assistance to mitigate and cushion the impact of the price cap, it added.
The ordinance further stated: “To provide immediate financial relief to rice retailers affected by the price ceiling on rice, the City Government of Marikina shall extend cash assistance in the amount of Php5,000 to each eligible rice retailer.”
According to the measure, rice retailers in wet markets, public markets, and other areas accessible to the general public, including sari-sari stores that are actually selling rice, operating within Marikina as of effective date of the ordinance are eligible to receive the cash aid.
It noted that the grant of cash assistance does not cover supermarkets and convenience stores.
“Alam ko po na hindi po sapat ito, ngunit kahit papaano sana po makatulong at mapagaan po ang ating pagnenegosyo po. Napakahirap po ng buhay, gusto ko po manatili kayong nasa negosyo,” the mayor said.
(Translation: I know this is not enough and hope this helps and lighten your business. Life is truly hard, I’d like you to remain in business.)
After the signing of the three ordinances, Teodoro oversaw the distribution of the P15,000 financial assistance to eligible rice retailers led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (✓)