Duterte Orders NFA To Buy Unhusked Rice or Palay From Local Farmers
RODRIGO DUTERTE – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the National Food Authority (NFA) to purchase unhusked rice or palay from local farmers to help them adjust to the rice tariffication law.
The President said that both the government and farmers must find a compromise regarding the price of palay. Farmers’ groups had since asked the government for assistant after palay prices dropped to P7 per kilo succeeding the rice tariffication law.
Duterte has signed the tariffication law in February of this year. According to an article by the Food and Fertilizer Technology Center, the law aimed to lift the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice imports and replace it with a general tariff.
In a press conference held on Wednesday in Malacañang, President Duterte had this to say: “How much is their price? Let’s buy”. He then added that there must be a compromise on how much you are willing to lose.
Duterte also defended the new rice tariffication law which he stated was meant to serve the greater interest of the majority. He then added that the solution to this issue is to buy from the farmers, even if that means losing money.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar also refused to blame the Rice Tariffication Law for the drop in palay prices. He stated that even before the law was signed, the prices of palay already had a decline.
Secretary William Dar blamed the price drops on hoarders, saying that those taking caught advantage would be persecuted to the fullest extend of the law. The Agricultural Secretary stated that they would crack down on rice warehouses to guarantee that traders and millers are “not managing for themselves only.”
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