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Duterte invites rice traders for coffee over unjust price hike

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President Duterte is clearing his schedule for a coffee meeting with the country’s big rice traders in Malacañang to appeal against rice hoarding and unjust increase of prices.

Spilling the details of a closed-door meeting in Malacañang, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said the President has ordered the National Food Authority (NFA) to arrange his meeting with the rice businessmen.

“You invite them. Sabihin mo mag kape lang kami,” Piñol said in a Facebook post, quoting the President’s order to NFA Administrator Jason Aquino during a meeting in Malacañang.

“The President said he would like to convey to the traders his wish that the Filipino consumers would not be made to suffer from high prices of rice,” Piñol said.

The proposed meeting with the rice traders was a recommendation made by Piñol to the President during the meeting. “Industry stakeholders suggested that Pres. Duterte should persuade the big traders not to hoard rice stocks and manipulate prices in the market,” Piñol said.