House greenlights tapping of P6-B rice subsidy to buy palay
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a joint resolution allowing the use of the remaining P6.97-billion rice subsidy fund to buy palay (unhusked rice) from local farmers.
Voting 206-0-0, the House approved House Joint Resolution No. 22, which authorizes the government to tap the subsidy fund under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) for the purchase of palay.
The joint resolution seeks to transfer to the National Food Authority (NFA) the unused P6.97-billion rice subsidy fund, which is under the 2019 budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The NFA will then buy palay from local farmers at P19 per kilo.
The resolution also aims to replace the P600 per month rice subsidy to 4Ps beneficiaries with actual rice.
Farmgate prices reportedly plummeted to as low as P7 per kilo in some areas, with some blaming Republic Act No. 11023 or the Rice Tariffication Law, which replaced quantitative restrictions on imported rice with tariffs or taxes.
The law was signed in February this year.
Last Nov. 4, the Senate approved on third reading its version of the resolution.
Both houses of Congress will convene a bicameral conference committee to reconcile disagreeing provisions on the resolution. After this, the measure will be transmitted to the President for his signature.
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