Private farm group opposes liberalization of rice importation in PH
Private farm group Philippine Chamber of Agriculture & Food Inc (PCAFI) asked President Rodrigo Duterte to take into consideration the living conditions of Filipino farmers upon deciding whether or not to sign the Rice Tariffication Bill.
In a statement, PCAFI has vehemently opposed rice import liberalization bill, Senate Bill 1998, and urged the Duterte Administration to pour full subsidy in a “Filipino Farmers First” policy rather than supporting foreign farmers.
PCAFI said the Duterte Administration should zero in on a policy adopted by the United States and China pouring significant subsidy for the farm sector.
According to the group, allowing imports to flood the Philippines’ rice market is not a “magic wand” that will just push down rice prices in the interest of consumers.
“How the rice farmers are treated will determine how the rest of the sectors will be treated,” said PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto.
“Since rice is most political of commodities, if the government will be seen as having abandoned rice farmers to the ravages of unfair trade so that consumers can savor the magic of the market, then investments in the sector will shrink. Why produce when the signal from the government is to import?” he added.