Photo Release

November 16, 2020

On Direct Assistance to Farmers: Sen. Francis Pangilinan, during a hybrid plenary session on the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Finance Monday, November 16, 2020, notes the slow disposal of rice smuggling cases which could have benefitted the rice farmers under the Rice Tarrification Law. Pangilinan was informed that only P1.3 billion were collected from those charged with rice smuggling as of October. Of 47 involved in rice smuggling, 24 have already settled deficiency assessment amounting to P34.million while others were still pending. Sen. Sonny Angara, chairman of the Committee on Finance, also told Pangilinan that since the Rice Tariffication Law was enacted, the Bureau of Customs have collected P13 billion as of September 2020 and another P1.8 billion will be collected for October 2020. Pangilinan stressed that under the proposal of Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform, an amount in excess of P10 billion should go directly as cash assistance to rice farmers.(Screen grab/Senate PRIB)