House OKs bill replacing cash rice subsidies with rice
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill replacing cash rice subsidies with actual rice bought from local farmers to help them cope with the impact of the rice import liberalization law.
By a 206-0 vote, the 300-strong chamber approved House Joint Resolution No. 22, which would allow the use of rice subsidy funds for the purchase of locally produced palay or unhusked rice to be distributed to conditional cash transfer beneficiaries.
House Joint Resolution No. 22, along with Senate Joint Resolution No. 8, is being eyed as a stopgap solution to help farmers affected by the influx of cheap imported rice as a result of Republic Act No. 11203 or the so-called rice tariffication law.
The Senate passed its version of the bill on third reading on Oct. 4, while the House approved it on second reading on Oct. 5.
The 2019 budget provides for a total of P33.9 billion in rice subsidies, the bulk of which goes to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.—DJ YAP
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