Press Release
February 16, 2019

Statement of Sen. Francis Pangilinan, former Presidential Adviser for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, on newly enacted Rice Tariffication Law
Ensure full implementation of law to keep prices down, and help Filipino farmers: Sen. Kiko

The enactment of the Rice Tariffication law, while being trumpeted as the remedy for high prices, is also seen by some farmers' groups as the death knell on the local rice industry.

All concerned groups should keep a tight watch on the safeguard provisions of the law to ensure that they will benefit the farmers and the industry, which will bear the brunt of the influx of imported rice.

The law provides for a P10 billion Rice Enhancement Fund from the duty on imports. This, as well as the other subsidies provided for by the law, should be felt by the farmers.

When it was passed, the TRAIN Law promised additional revenues for the government to bring ease to the people's lives.

However, the fuel price increases have pushed prices of commodities up, and brought extra cost to the farmers, who are now spending more for transportation cost.

Without tempering the impact of the TRAIN Law on the farmers and the industry, then the farmers and the industry would face a double whammy that would imperil their existence.

Bottom line is the effective implementation of the law. The executive department must step up and ensure that the spirit and intent of the law is realized.

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