Palace pushes for tarrification of imported rice
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Palace will continue to push for the tarriffication of imported rice to avoid the same situation wherein the government had to pay higher price for imported rice due to National Food Authority’s (NFA) “gross incompetence”.
“Si Secretary [Ben] Diokno po has been firm even in the last Cabinet meeting that it was gross incompetence for NFA not to have purchased rice during harvest time to insure na merong silang stock,” Roque said.
“Ang punto po ng mga economic planners: maski po itaas natin ng kakaunti o taasan na natin ng mas mataas talaga ang pagbibili ng bigas dito sa Pilipinas, kapag bumili tayo ng mas mataas sa panahon ng ani ang magbebenipisyo po gamit ang pera ng taumbayan ay mga Pilipinong mga magsasaka. Eh ngayong tayo pong kumakalap sa iba, binibigay lang po natin iyong pera sa mga dayuhang magsasaka,” he added.
Roque also pointed out that the government had to pay P6 billion to purchase the 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice from Vietnam and Thailand.
To prevent NFA to keep on importing, Roque said Palace will continously push for the amendments of Republic Act 8178 or the Agricultural Tariffication Act, which will impose higher tariff on imported rice sans the Quantitative Restrictions or QRs on rice.