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Monday, February 18, 2019

its implefuentation.
WjBvqi&Sdi!*Wtifi{l:* has signed into law the Rice Tariffrca-
tion Act. It will turther help in easing
royo said.
But fomer Senate President Juan Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ralmund
the inflation which has hit the poor the Ponce Enrile urged the government Viuafuerte, co-author of the rice tarif
A peaker Gloria Macapagal- further help tame inflation.
L- t ir"nun sorrsht vesterdiv"the The former President chebred at most," she said. to brace for the negative impact of the fication measure, agreed with Arroyo,
saying that the law would help expand
"Now we can focus on its Proper rice tarifncation law.on local farmers,
;;; --'
p.opi"unu fill implementation President Duterte's signing of l.he Rice
l:/ irf tii" Rice Tarffication Act to Tarifficalion Act on FYiday. implementation so that everyone can warning that the "over supply" of rice - of Filipinos to cheaP
the access ->6
benefit everyone, citing that it wduld '1am happy that President Duterte and should benefrt from the law," Ar'- could adversely affect them following

I rpayT PAgatt NI;XT P,A?A Pa '" -)

tariff You ieet jnforie," stressed
Congress:Pushes fuIl... < 1
He sairl the government should
shall legally effect. make sure that rice imPorters will
"This will, in turn, Prevent a repeat strictly follow the requirements for
ot the 2018 inflal.ion surge brought in "I would like to save the government
the effort of crafting its implementing agricullural and food safety to ensure
large part by the supply shortfall and promptly the protection of the local farmers and
thJsu-bsequent retail price increase of rules and iegulations, andwill
file for the rePeal," he said. the apriculture sector.
rice." he said. HE aho suggesled enacting a "mini-
poor Casilao branded the law as a "tomb-
"Rice tariflication will benefit volume" above which
stone for the Philippine rice industry" mum'access
households the most. given that rice higher tariffs lvould be implemented'
as it would impact the livelihood and
accounts for 20 percent of their con- agree that we will allow a so-
welfare million rice farmers and "We
sumDtion," Villafuerte said. noting that of 2.4
called minimum access volumqfor a
inllaiion began l,o ease in the latter part more farm workers. billion Droduct like rice to be exportedftom
of 2018 and is expected to drop even "This will undermine the P350
- 19 million metric ton - palay sector. other countries at a very low level of
further this year following the decisive tariffs," said Enrile, who was also a
steps taken by President Duterte to This is ctearly betrayal of the people s
and national interest," he said. former finance secretary
remove administrative constraints
Fbrmers at risk "Now, anything above thatminimum
on food imports and narrow the gaP volume should not be allowed to
the restrictions are lifted access
between faimgate and retail prices of Under larM,
and the National Food Authority NFA) corire in if we have sufficient supply.
rice and other foodstuff. supply' we can allow
can no longer monopolize rice importa Mthout suffrcient
Death warrant can subject it to
tion because private sectorswould now it to come in but we
Bayan Muna Party-list ReP. Carlos pointed out
be allowed to imPort rice tariffs," he
lsagani zarate expressed serious con- ' Inflation
."ti thut th" newly signed law would The tariffis mandated at 35 Percent
Associa- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas GSP)
serve as a death warrant to the colrn- for rice from members.of the
Asian Nations (ASE- DeDutv Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo
tn/s apriculture. tion of Southeast
" "witn th" rice tariffication, the AN) and 50 Percent for non-ASEAN the rice tariffication law will re-
duce inflation rate by 0.6 percentage
rice cartels can tight€n their hold on countries. point (ppt) this year and 0.3-0.4 ppt in
As a safeguard, revenueS lrom the
the price ot rice as well as the supply.
tariffs will go to a Rice Competitiveness 2020.
Ang manglayari sa presyo ng bigas ay
matutulad sa presyulan ng langis na Enhancement Fhnd or RCEF with an "The important Point here is that
annual funding ofF10-billion to protect the government is about to complete
paraling tumataas depende sa inLerna- (inplementing rules and regu-
the rice industry from sudden or ex- the IRR
iional market dahil mas dun nakasala-
treme price fl uctuations. latiod to ensure quick implementation
lay ang supply." he said.
' Enrile warned that when the gov- of the law. Ttuly a very $aphic sign
He said the rice cartel and the government's serious effort to
ernment allows too much commodity of the
foreign rice suppliers will only benefrt price stability for the people,"
to enter the counhY ftom the outside, protect
from the law.
said Guiniundo.
"Mapanlinlang ang tariffication local farmers are at risk of losing their
pabor source of livelihood. He said the imPact to inflation rate
scheme na ito dabil hindi ito sa
'If you bring in too much'commod- for 2019 and 2020 is enough to ensure
mahihirap na Pilipino; ang cartel at
itv from the outside, you deprive local the tevel will stay within the two-four
danrhang mga rice suppliers lang ang
{armers of their source of livelihood, percent target.
magiging masaya dito," zarate said.
"Ang dapat sanang gawin aypalaka- so we should be using tariffs to lrotect . "Igs split because the implementa-
tion is already close to the end of the
sin pa ang NFA Para mas marami them," Enrile said. the tariff collection,
will not incur losses first quarter. With
siyang mabiling palay sa mga lokal na "Farmers
estabtished to help
if (the governmentr only adheres to a funtl would be
maqsasaka sa mas mataas na halaga. greater efnciency
the rice tariffication law and relates the farmers achieve
Sa [anitong paraan ay hindi mapipili-
(the tariffs) to the reasonable price of and productMty in agriculture"' said
tang magbenta ang mga magsasaka sa
the commodity in the countrY," said Guinigundo.
kartel ng bigas," he said. -Thev are therefore expectbd to be
Congress ratified the measure Enrile.
"Now, if you would neglect that, more coJnpetitive," he added. 'Thisris
on November 28, afid transmitted it legislation that would hfr
bring and sup^ply that a landmark
to Malacanang on January 15 for the and anybody can
greatly in rationalizing rice larming in
President's signature. commodity in our country ourtarmers
would suffer losses and prices would the Philippines. After all, the farmers
Anakpawis Party-list Rep' Ariel "Ka and, together with
j'ou plant more than are also consumers,
Alk" Casilao earlier said he would frle go down because other million Filipinos, will ben-
what is needed to cover the demand the 100
a bill lhat would repeal the law after 15
and that should be the standard of the efit from lotlver rice
days upon its publication or the date it

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