DA agencies asked to stop importation of rice, corn, other commodities during harvest time | Inquirer News

DA agencies asked to stop importation of rice, corn, other commodities during harvest time

/ 12:36 PM October 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senators asked several agencies under the Department of Agriculture (DA) not to issue permits for the importation of rice, corn, and other basic commodities during or immediately before harvest seasons.

During the Senate budget hearing of the DA on Monday, Senator Imee Marcos made a manifestation limiting the importation of such products during the said period.

“I hereby manifest that the importations of basic commodities should at the very least be scheduled and staggered according to need. With regard to rice and corn, the BPI (Bureau of Plant Industry) is enjoined not to import during or immediately before harvest seasons, particularly the main harvest season in September and October,” Marcos said.


Furthermore, Marcos enjoined the Bureau of Animal Industry to “take cognizance of the excess supply of poultry and disallow poultry importation during this period.”


Included in her manifestation is the call for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to limit the importation of fish, particularly during peak season.

Marcos also called on BFAR to be “vigilant with smuggled goods that have been reported and the undervaluing of fish importation.”

Senator Cynthia Villar, who was presiding over the hearing, underscored that a scheduled issuance of import permits would avoid the plummeting of prices of such commodities.

“They [should] promised us that kapag harvest, ‘wag magbigay ng permit, import permit, parang common sense naman yun, ‘pag magha-harvest wag magbigay ng import permit kasi pwede naman maghintay ang farmers, kaya lang wala tayong enough warehouse for them to wait for better prices,” Villar, who also chairs the Senate agriculture committee, said.

(They should promise us that if it’s harvest season, they should not issue import permits, it’s common sense if it’s harvest season DA should not issue import permits. While farmers can wait to sell their products, we don’t have enough warehouses for them to keep it for them to wait for better prices.)

“Sana ‘wag na lang magbigay. Gumawa ng schedule na kapag tatamaan yung pagdating ng importation sa harvest time, wag na ibigay ‘yun, para wala tayong problema,” she added.


(I hope they would just not issue import permits. They should schedule its issuance and don’t issue import permits during harvest time, so we won’t have any problems.)

Villar then asked her colleagues to support Marcos’ manifestation “so that [DA] Secretary [William] Dar will know that we are one in this.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan all expressed support for the manifestation.

“So, this is a manifestation of the senators,” Villar told the DA.

In response, Dar said: “Madam Chair, I heard it clear.”

Dar, however, said it would be better if the senators could craft a resolution to formalize their manifestation.

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“We will make a resolution after,” Villar said.

TAGS: corn, importation, Nation, News, rice

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