MANILA, Philippines – Amid the crisis that farmers face, Senator Francis Pangilinan encourages the public to buy local rice.

Pangilinan urged people to purchase locally-produced rice to aid farmers that are struggling with the low buying price of palay—currently at Php7 per kilo in Central Luzon. Notably, this is just more than half the Php12 per kilo production cost.

“One way for us to help our farmers is to support them and buy their rice. Buy local, especially during this harvest time,” Pangilinan said.

With the market “flooded with imported rice,” Pangilinan said that in Tarlac, the buying price of palay is at Php7 to Php8 per kilo. The senator also cited the buying price in other areas of the country: Php8 per kilo in Nueva Ecija and Php8 to Php10 per kilo in Zamboanga Sibugay.

“Ask your preferred store for local rice,” the senator recommended. He also cited reports that around 200,000 rice farmers have stopped cultivating their fields because they are scared of losing money due to potential deficit.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced on Wednesday that RA 11321 or the Sagip Saka Act of 2019’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) will be revealed within the week. RA 11321 was signed into law on April 17.

The act will allow local governments and government agencies to purchase agricultural produce, including rice, directly from farmers and producers, granting them exemption from the Government Procurement Reform Act or RA 9184.

Kailangan ma-aprubahan na ang IRR…Gusto nating mabawasan o ma-reduce ang unjust relationship between the middlemen and the farmers, kaya papasok ang gobyerno bilang equalizer,” Pangilinan said during the hearing on the Rice Tariffication Law.

RA 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law, which took effect in March, allowed foreign rice imports to flood the market causing prices of rice from local farmers to plummet. (HGBH/LMO)

Photo from Senator Kiko Pangilinan Facebook page


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