Rice Tariffication Law, other agri policies under serious scrutiny by PBBM

Rice Tariffication Law, other agri policies under serious scrutiny by PBBM

By Tracy Cabrera

Agriculture undersecretary Kristine Evangelista. (Photo courtesy of CNN Ph)

MALACAÑAN PALACE — In agreement with views that the country’s agriculture has actually suffered in the past, President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos who concurrently heads the Department of Agriculture (DA) is now poised to revisit agricultural laws and policies to maximize their effectiveness in upholding the lives of local farmers and fisher folk.

According to Palace sources, up for review is the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), which agriculture undersecretary Kristine Evangelista said is now going under evaluation so that functions of the National Food Authority (NFA) may be realigned for the benefit of securing ample food supplies, particularly rice, vegetable, fruits, and fish.

Evangelista cited that the DA is particularly studying the viability of allowing the NFA to import rice even under a liberalized trading regime.

“That is something being studied and is for further discussion and recommendation,” she noted.

It may be recalled that Marcos Jr. gained even more support from the masses after disclosing in one of the campaign rallies that he plans to bring down the price of rice by recommending a price cap on the main staple.

The former senator disclosed that he would issue an executive order that would direct the agriculture department and the NFA to procure rice harvests from local farmers at more competitive prices.

The chief executive added that the DA and NFA should have a regular and thorough inventory of rice harvests in the country, which is also a way of preventing rice cartels from controlling the supply.

Aside from these, Evangelista likewise announced that the DA will also be focusing on “strengthening the NFA to buy more palay from our farmers because we are pushing for a better yield. Our priority will be increasing local production.” (ai/mtvn)

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