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Friday, Septemb er 2O,2Ol9 I,


purchase 350,000 IMT or 7 million passed 1.3 million metrictons during P7 in some areas.
llv Jovtr,VleRrt N. oerl Cnlz
They added Filipino farmers have
. t @javeemdrie 5o-kilogram sacks of palayfrom local the first half of 2019.
farmersat P20 per kgfarm gate price Lawmakers said the additional lost around P4O billion injustthe first
budget for NFA will ease the imPact halfofthe 201 9 due to the huge drop
r aWMAKFRS from the Mak- through its current buffer-stocking
of the rice trade liberalization law in the price of palaY.
I ubuuun bloc on Thursdav filed budget of P7 billion for this Year.
The solons said the DePartmentof
l-" Horr" Joint Resolution pro- "ThecountrY isonce again entering which opened the floodgates for the
the harvest season ofthg lean second "massive"importation of rice, leading Agriculture's Expanded Survival and
viding for a supplemental budget
to a sharp decline infarm-9ate prices Recovery Assistance program for Rice
of P]5 billion to the National Food cropping. The NFA must be refueled
Farmers (SURE Aid) amounting to P 1.5
Authority (NFA) for the purchase of with adequate funds sg that it can and huge losses for planters.
procurea substantial ponion fromthe TheysaidthePl billion allocation billion will only provide each farmer
unhusked rice from planters in the
coming harvest,' said the resolution. for expanded rice credit assistance P15,000 in the form of zero-interest
fourth quarter.
Wet seagon harvest will begin in under the Rice Competitiveness En- loans, and will only cover 100,000
House Joint Resolution 18 was
hancement Fund {RCEF) as Part of planters out of the total estimated
also signed by 47 lawmakers who October and farmers'qrouP. such as
the rice trade liberalization law is 2.4 million rice farmers nationwide.
expressed their support for it The the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF)
lnc., said the farm-gate price of rice certainly not enough to aid rice fa rm- Republic Act 11203, otherwise
resolution indicated thatthe supple-
could go down further during this ers, "notwithstanding the fact that known as "An Act Liberalizing the
mental budget will be used for the
period. It requires minimum collateral and lmportation, Exportation and Trad-
'?xclusive and urgent Procurement"
citing data from the Philippine imposes minimum interest rates." ing of Rice, Lifting for the Purpase
ofat least 750,000 metric tons (MT)of
Statistics Authority(P5A), the solons Also, citing farmers'grouPs, the the Quantitative Restriction on Rice,
palay from local farmers at the farm-
said the average farm-9ate price of solons noted that some regions, such and for Other Purposes,'was signed
gate price ofP20 per kilogram, which
palay has hit its lowest in more than as Central Luzon, are reporting farm- into law on February 14 by Prdsident
the NFA should sell at P27 per k9.
twoyears,ascheap impdrted ricesur- gate price levels at P 1 1 per kg or even Duterte.
The solons said the NFA can only ,
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