Palace hails Senate passage of rice tariffication bill
Malacañang on Thursday praised the Senate for passing on third and final reading the Rice Tariffication Bill.
Voting 14-0, the Senate passed on Wednesday Senate Bill No. 1998, which seeks to replace the present quotas on rice importation with rice tariffs instead.
The measure, sponsored by Senator Cynthia Villar, is expected to help alleviate the impact of the nine-year high inflation in September and October and address the country’s rice shortage.
“The Palace expresses its gratitude to the Senate for passing on third and final reading the Rice Tariffication Bill,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Early in October, President Rodrigo Duterte certified the bill as urgent to help lower rice prices and tame inflation.
“In his communication with the leadership of the Senate, the President expressed the urgent need to improve the availability of rice in the country to prevent artificial rice shortage, reduce the prices of rice in the market, and curtail the prevalence of corruption and cartel domination in the rice industry,” Panelo said.
Panelo said Malacañang remains optimistic that the bill would also run smoothly during the bicameral conference committee deliberations by both Houses of Congress.
“We are likewise confident that through the enactment of this bill into law, we would be able to protect the rice industry from sudden price fluctuations and eventually ease the burden of the Filipino consumers from soaring prices,” he said.
The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill on the third and final reading in August. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.