Roxas proposes measures to stem soaring rice prices
Dear President Duterte:Matindi ang problema ng P50+/kg na bigas, at magiging mas matindi pa ito dahil sa damage ni…ADVERTISEMENT
Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Tuesday proposed to President Rodrigo Duterte some measures on how to address the soaring prices of rice.
In his open letter posted on Facebook, Roxas asked Duterte for a “timeout” as the country continues to suffer from the increasing price of the staple grain.
“Matindi ang problema ng P50+/kg na bigas, at magiging mas matindi pa ito dahil sa damage ni Ompong. Magkaiba paningin natin sa maraming bagay pero sa tingin ko lahat ng Pilipino gustong malutas ang problemang ito. Kaya time out muna,” Roxas wrote.
Roxas, who was also a former senator before he joined the Cabinet of former President Benigno Aquino III, went on to say that “only a massive and immediate additional supply of rice can bring down prices to affordable levels.”
He suggested the increase in Minimum Access Volume to 1.5 metric tons; allow the private sector to import rice; and ask fast food and supermarket chains, and all large users to independently source and import their own needs so they won’t use the national stockpile anymore.
In the short term, Roxas said this will “provide a definite physical buffer, put a definite timeframe for when supply tightness will end and induce hoarders to release their stocks.”
Meanwhile, to ease the farmers’ plight, Roxas said the government should consider including all farmer families in the Conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the government.
He added that the President should also consider repealing the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) which was attributed to the continuing rise in fuel prices and basic commodities.
Roxas also said that the government should promote industrialized farming to increase capital investment (capital expenditure, technology, economies of scale) in agriculture. /muf
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