Rice prices to increase only in key urban areas — Agri Dept. official

Prices of milled rice are bound to increase during the lean season—July to August—and likely to be felt by consumers only in urban areas, an official of the Department of Agriculture said Monday.

DA Assistant Secretary Dante Delima, who is also the National Rice Program coordinator, said retail prices of rice are expected to slightly rise during the lean months in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao because these places are far from strategic rice-producing areas.

Metro Manila gets rice mainly from Isabela, while Cebu gets its supply mainly from Zamboanga, Bohol and Negros, he said.

Price increases between P1 to P2 per kilo are expected, according to the Agriculture Department.

Last week, Delima told GMA News Online the July-to-August price hikes are "normal" because we are in the lean season.

Delima also said the country has enough rice supply and the National Food Authority (NFA) will release more NFA rice to control prices. — Danessa Rivera/VS, GMA News