Congress called to postpone recess to pass relief measures for rice farmers
Action for Economic Reforms (AER) urged President Rodrigo Duterte to call on both chambers of Congress to postpone their month-long recess and immediately convene for special session to act on Joint Resolutions Number 2 and 8 both aimed at putting in place relief measures for rice farmers beset with declining palay prices at the farmgate.
Senate Joint Resolution No. 2 (SJR No. 2), sponsored by Sen. Francis Pangilinan, authorizes the use of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, among other sources as special emergency fund to authorize direct transfers to affected rice farmers.
On the other hand, SJR No. 8, authored by Senators Miguel Zubiri and Cynthia Villar, seeks to allow Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to convert to actual rice the rice subsidy amounting to P600 per month, which currently takes the form of financial assistance under the government’s 4Ps program.
“As both houses adjourn for a month-long recess, the immediate problem afflicting the Philippine agriculture sector remains unaddressed. We plead to legislators to hold hearings and conduct plenary debates to put in place these emergency measures,” AER President Jessica Reyes-Cantos said.
“The farmers need relief now, as next year, they might no longer go into farming,” she added.