Gov’t assures to buy farmers’ yield amid liberalization of rice importation
Amid the liberalization of rice importation, which will be the result of the passage of Rice Tariffication Bill, the government assured that National Food Authority (NFA) will still buy the yield of Filipino farmers.
“When President Rody Duterte signs the Rice Tariffication and Liberalization Bill soon, the National Food Authority (NFA) will no longer be allowed to import rice for its buffer stocks. Instead, the NFA will be focused on the procurement of palay produced by Filipino farmers,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.
In 2019, the NFA has allocated P7 billion for local palay procurement.
According to Piñol, this is a welcomed development not only for the Filipino farmers but also for top officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the NFA who advocate for a change in the image of the rice agency.
“Through the years of its involvement in the rice importation program for buffer stocking, suspicions were rife that there were financial transactions involved where officials raked in money,” Piñol said.
“The very tight importation requirements also led to corruption even in the awarding of import permits,” he added.