Pangilinan: Gov’t must ensure farmers will benefit from rice tariffication law
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan on Saturday urged the full implementation of the rice tariffication law, noting that farmers and the agricultural sector must benefit from the law.
Pangilinan issued this statement following farmer groups’ apprehensions that the law may negatively impact the local rice industry as this seeks lifting restrictions on rice importations.
“The enactment of the Rice Tariffication law, while being trumpeted as the remedy for high prices, is also seen by some farmers’ groups as the death knell on the local rice industry,” the senator said in a statement.
“All concerned groups should keep a tight watch on the safeguard provisions of the law to ensure that they will benefit the farmers and the industry, which will bear the brunt of the influx of imported rice,” he added.
Pangilinan then added the P10-billion worth of Rice Enhancement Fund and other subsidies stated in the law must benefit farmers.
“The law provides for a P10-billion Rice Enhancement Fund from the duty on imports. This, as well as the other subsidies provided for by the law, should be felt by the farmers,” he said.
Pangilinan also considered the impact on the farmers of the fuel prices and its price increases under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, saying it would bring extra cost to transportation.
“When it was passed, the TRAIN Law promised additional revenues for the government to bring ease to the people’s lives,” Pangilinan said. “However, the fuel price increases have pushed prices of commodities up, and brought extra cost to the farmers, who are now spending more for transportation cost.”
On Friday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the rice tarrification bill into law, which is expected to address the impact of inflation and address the country’s rice shortage. /jpv
RELATED STORY: Duterte signs rice tariffication bill into law
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.