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3 Makabayan bloc solons doubt Duterte EO will protect local farmers

/ 12:37 PM September 13, 2018

Opposition lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc of the House of Representatives have expressed doubts that an executive order by President Rodrigo Duterte will ease food importation amid the soaring prices of commodities.

Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, ACT-Teachers Rep. France Castro and Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas made the remark Thursday after Malacañang bared that it’s drafting an order to combat the country’s rising inflation rate.

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READ: Inflation hits new 9-year high of 6.4% in August

READ: Palace drafting order to ease importation of rice, other food items

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“‘Yung ilalabas po na executive order kami po ay nagdududa at natatakot na mas palalakihin at mas lalala ang epekto nito sa lokal na agrikultura kapag ito po ay taliwas doon sa inaasahan at ng nais natin… na ma-issue ay ‘yung price ceiling as mandated by Republic Act 7581,” Casilao said in a press briefing.

Section 7 of the Price Act states that the President, upon the recommendation of the implementing agency, or the Price Coordinating Council, “may impose a price ceiling on any basic necessity or prime commodity” if any of the following conditions so warrants:

(1) The impendency, existence, or effects of a calamity;
(2) The threat, existence, or effect of an emergency;
(3) The prevalence or widespread acts of illegal price manipulation:
(4) The impendency, existence, or effect of any event that causes artificial and unreasonable increase in the price of the basic necessity or prime-commodity; and
(5) Whenever the prevailing price of any basic necessity or prime commodity has risen to unreasonable levels.

Casilao also lamented that of the P7 billion budget for 2018 palay procurement by the National Food Authority, P6.1 billion were spent paying loans.

The Makabayan bloc earlier filed a joint resolution seeking for a P10 billion supplemental budget for the procurement of palay from local rice farmers in a bid to ease the rice crisis in various parts of the country.

READ: Partylist solons want P10B add-on budget to buy palay, ease rice woes

Casilao said they are currently in talks with some senators to co-sponsor or to file a similar measure in the Senate.

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“Nangangamba tayo rito sa ilalabas na EO kasi bali-balita natin babahain ng importasyon ng mga agri products ang ating market so that maging mura ang mga bilihin at magka-supply,” Casailao said.

“Kung ito yung nagigigng direksyon ng ating gobyerno at ngayon ay anihan… Mas mahal ang dolyar, for sure mas mahal din itong maipapasa sa tin,” she added.

Brosas for her part, said government should protect and prioritize the welfare of local farmers who could be affected once government pushes with its massive importation of agriculture products.  /muf

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TAGS: Brosas, Casilao, Castro, food importation, House of Representatives, Local news, Makabayan bloc, Philippine news updates
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