Hontiveros to file reso shedding light on ‘conflicting policies’ on rice prices | Inquirer News

Hontiveros to file reso shedding light on ‘conflicting policies’ on rice prices

/ 10:05 PM September 11, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Opposition lawmaker Risa Hontiveros on Monday said she will file a resolution seeking to shed light on the confusing policies aimed at easing rice prices in the country.

This was after Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno proposed a temporary reduction of import tariffs on rice. The suggestion comes after President Bongbong Marcos ordered the imposition of price caps on rice nationwide.

READ: DOF urges tariff-free rice imports to ease prices


The DOF’s proposal did not sit well with Hontiveros who stated that implementation of zero-tariff importation during the harvest season would be a “disaster for local farmers.”


“Never open the import floodgates during harvest season or the local farmers would be on the losing end again. Even worse, the proposal doesn’t mention a national calamity that would authorize a role for the government in the importation. [Diokno’s] proposal also does not say that the importation will only be for the National Food Authority’s buffer stock, which means that the importation will be done by the private sector,” said Hontiveros.

According to the senator, the proposal is confusing as it goes against the administration’s goal of importing rice from Vietnam through government-to-government trade.

“I will file a resolution to shed light on these contradicting policies and to give the Executive branches of government, which don’t work together, a chance to talk to each other,” said Hontiveros.

She likewise pointed out that the National Food Authority may buy buffer stock from local farmers to ensure that the country has enough supply after El Niño or until the next lean season.


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TAGS: Hontiveros, resolution, rice, rice price cap, rice prices

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