House approves rice tarrification bill
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House of Representatives (HOR) approved on third and final reading, the proposed rice tarrification bill that imposes tariffs on rice in place of import quotas.
The measure is among the priorities President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned at his third state of the nation address (SONA) in July which aims to bring down prices of the country’s staple and also to help control inflation.
But the Makabayan bloc, in opposition, cited the measure’s risk to local farmers as cheaper rice imports may put local rice growers at a disadvantage.
“Sa susunod na mga buwan ay babahain tayo ng mga imported na bigas at tiyak papatay ito sa ating mga magsasaka,”argued Anak Pawis Rep. Ariel Casilao.
Once enacted into law, the government is expected to save up to P20 billion which it intends to use to subsidize local rice farmers. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo
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