Rice tariffication results to “virtual death” of rice farmers
Some of the country’s farmer groups have launched a new protest against rice tariffication, which resulted to the influx of imported rice in the country, the main reason for the declining price of palay.
“We, the farmers and major stakeholders in the rice industry, are again joining hands in a presscon-symbolic action to protest against the furthering and deepening negative impacts of the rice liberalization law, or better known as the Rice Tariffication Law (R.A. 11203) to various sectors,” the farmers said in a statement.
“The RTL meted out a virtual death sentence on the country’s three million small rice farmers whose rice farming tradition is older than the Republic itself. And the sheer obliviousness of the government to the overall suffering is the starkest statement on how it views agriculture and the small farmers,” they added.
One year had passed since the passage of the said law.
“However, we are a witness to the continuing ineptness and incompetence of government to address the sorry plight of both farmers and farm workers. Their pleas/appeals have fallen on deaf ears despite of numerous attempts of farmers to diplomatically talk sense to government and call for changes in the law – whether to amend, suspend or better yet repeal RLL/RTL,” the farmers said.
Upon checking with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, palay prices continue to plunge despite the reportedly massive funds expended by the government to prop up palay prices.
The third week of January 2020 showed farmgate prices at P15.89 compared to P19.81 on the same week and month last year.