Multi-sectoral group calls for repeal of rice liberalization law; doubts Duterte’s sincerity in suspending rice importation

Maris Federez


A multi-sectoral group expressed doubts on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s sincerity when he announced that he is ordering the temporary suspension of rice importation in the country.

The group went on to call for the stoppage of the implementation of the Rice Liberalization Law.

The group claimed that the President’s pronouncement may be just like what happened to the other promises he made but were left unfulfilled.

The President made the announcement to address the complaints of farmers of the severely low price of palay as imported rice flooded the local market brought about by the Rice Tariffication Law.

The Bantay Bigas group doubts the President’s sincerity.

“Puro salita […] Wala siyang inisyu na Executive Order para ipakita na talagang sinsero siya doon sa ihinto iyong rice importation (All talk […] He didn’t issue any Executive Order to show that he is sincere in stopping the rice importation),” said Bantay Bigas spokesperson Cathy Estavillo.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), on the other hand, dared the President to make good on his announcement to suspend the rice importation as it called on the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy the farmers’ palay at a price not lower than P20 per kilogram.

“Stop killing the rice industry. Save the rice farmers,” said KMP Chairman Rafael Mariano.

The group suggested that the President may direct Congress to suspend and review the Rice Liberalization Law.

Meanwhile, President Duterte will meet with Agriculture Secretary William Dar to discuss the planned suspension of rice importation. (from the report of Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

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