Ex-DA Chief worried over surge of imported rice in the country

Ex-DA Chief worried over surge of imported rice in the country

THE actions of the Marcos administration seem to be a burden on the agriculture sector.

President Bongbong Marcos promise to boost this sector appears to be contrary to the current situation.

In fact, according to the data of Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Philippines’ rice imports increased significantly from January to May this year.

These imports reached 2.12 million metric tons, compared to 1.64 million metric tons in the same period last year.

However, Agriculture Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Arnel de Mesa explained that this was to anticipate a potential rice shortage in the country.

“When there was a possibility of a strong El Niño, discussions were held with importers to ensure that even if an El Niño occurs, there would be sufficient rice,” Asec. Arnel de Mesa, Spokesperson, DA said.

But, former DA Secretary and current Chairman of the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) is worried about the surge of imported rice flooding in the market.

If the Marcos administration continues to favor businessmen or importers, local farmers may lose their motivation to plant.

“Whenever there is a significant increase in rice imports from other countries, the tendency is for the price of our local palay to drop,” according to Leonardo Montemayor, Chairman, FFF.

Montemayor said, if rice importation continues to worsen, achieving the administration’s food security goals may become more difficult.

“We will be put in a more precarious position, of course,” Montemayor added.

Agri groups to file petition for TRO at Supreme Court vs 15% tariff cut on imported rice

The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) will petition in the Supreme Court for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the implementation of a 15% tariff on imported agricultural products.

According to Rosendo So, Chairman of SINAG, this will be necessary if the President issues an Executive Order to implement it.

He stated that the process was not followed correctly, as there were no consultations with the sector involved.

“If Congress, Senate, and House of Representatives are not in session, the procedure allows the Executive Department to conduct consultations with importers, producers, and farmers through the DA. Then, the Tariff Commission is supposed to call a meeting for petitioners and those wanting to submit affidavits to attend. But what happened was that there were no consultations at the grassroots level,” Engr. Rosendo So, Chairman, SINAG expressed.

Several agri groups may possibly stage protest vs 15% tariff cut on imported rice

If the President does not heed the grievances of the sector, protests are expected to follow.

“Those are the moves we will make. Then, we will write to the President. We united in the belief that the tariff reduction is wrong,” Danilo Fausto, President, PCAFI stated.

Agri groups: NEDA Sec. Balisacan, resign!

Agricultural groups are calling for National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan to resign from his position.

Agri groups emphasized that the NEDA


Follow SMNI NEWS in Twitter

Follow SMNI News on Rumble