Solons file Rice Industry Development Act
Progressive lawmakers from the House of Representatives filed on Wednesday a “hardcore and uncompromising” bill seeking a comprehensive solution to the recurring food crisis in the country.
The House Makabayan bloc composed of Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Gabriela Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago filed House Bill No. 8512 or the “Rice Industry Development Act of 2018 (RIDA).”
“This is the hardcore or uncompromising proposal to solve the rice crisis in the country. We assert that the food security is non-negotiable and self-sufficiency is a prerequisite in economic and human development,” Casilao, the lead proponent of the bill, said in a statement.
The 42-page bill proposes a P495-billion budget for the so-called “Three-Year Implementation Plan,” which is composed of the following core programs:
– Rice Production Socialized Credit Program with P25 billion allocation;
– Accelerated Irrigation Development Program with P45 billion and P20 billion for rehabilitation and repair;
– Post-Harvest Facilities Development Program with P30 billion;
– Farm Inputs Support Program with P50 billion;
– Research and Development and Extension Services Program with P15 billion; and
– P310 billion allocation for National Food Authority’s local procurement program
Former Anakpawis Reps. Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano and Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap and Anakpawis third nominee and peasant women leader Cathy Estavillo joined the lawmakers in filing the proposed measure.
Casilao said the RIDA’s major provisions include:
– Declaring as principle or policy that food security is based on the country’s self-sufficiency and not by importation;
– Protection of rice lands from land-use conversion;
– Strengthening of the NFA, condoning of all its existing loan obligations, hiking buying price of palay and lowering its selling price to the poor;
– Strengthening the security of tenure of rice farmers;
– Formation of Local Rice Supply Security Councils to closely monitor and address the state of hunger in town-levels, the National Rice Supply Security Council to seriously determine occurring rice crisis and stabilize prices.
This framework is no longer new and should have been done decades ago, according to Casilao.
“Other Southeast Asian countries have been through roughly comparable programs and we uphold that the Filipino people deserve a genuine program that will seriously address concerns of food security,” he added. /ee
READ THE BILL HERE: HB08512 -Rice Industry Development Act of 2018 (RIDA)
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