Press Release
September 26, 2018

Sen. Bam to gov't: Make affordable rice available, accessible to poor Filipinos

Sen. Bam Aquino wants to ensure that poor Filipinos are priority in the distribution of NFA rice, following the government's move to sell affordable rice in supermarkets.

"Maganda ang hangarin ng pamahalaan na paramihin ang outlets ng bentahan ng NFA rice at isama ang mga supermarkets," said Sen. Bam.

"Pero dahil limitado ang NFA rice at napakamahal pa ng commercial rice, mahalaga na matiyak na makikinabang ang pinakamahihirap nating kababayan na isa o dalawang beses na lang ang pagkain ng kanin kada-araw," added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam said the initiative will be for naught if the NFA rice will not be accessible to poor Filipinos who are already burdened by high prices of food and other goods.

"Siguraduhin na mayroong murang bigas sa mga pangunahing pinagbibilhan ng mahihirap nating kababayan. Baka maubos ang pinagkakasyang pera sa pamasahe papunta sa mga supermarket," stressed Sen. Bam, who is pushing for the full implementation the 10-percent discount on NFA rice under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

Under the TRAIN Law, Sen. Bam said the government is mandated to provide poor families 10-percent discount when they purchase NFA rice from accredited retail stores, up to a maximum of 20 kilos per month.

In addition, Sen. Bam is calling for the enactment of his Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo Bill that will help ease the burden of poor Filipinos on high prices of food and other goods.

Sen. Bam's Bawas Presyo Bill aims to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

Passing the measure is crucial as it will stop the second round of increase in excise tax on petroleum products under the TRAIN Law in January 2019, according to Sen. Bam.

Aside from pushing for the enactment of the Bawas Presyo Bill, Sen. Bam also called on the government to fully implement other social mitigating measures under the TRAIN Law, such as the unconditional cash transfer program and the Pantawid Pasada Program.

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