MANILA�Senator Imee Marcos on Friday thumbed down the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) plan to import rice for retailers such as fast-food chains, supermarkets, and groceries to further lower rice prices.
Marcos said the move to prioritize imports over local produce when rice farmers nationwide have been selling their harvest at depressed prices or even at a loss is ill-timed and insensitive.
Under the planned importation program, DTI's attached agency, the Philippine International Trading Corporation, shall be tasked to import rice in behalf of local fast-food chains, grocery stores, and small supermarkets.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said as many as 300 containers could be shipped to the country in the next few months.
The announcement of Secretary Lopez is insensitive and ill-timed. Cheaper imported rice is not worth a breakdown in the livelihood of Filipino rice farmers, Marcos said.
Where is our conscience and what got into the heads of these businessmen who choose foreign goods over our very own at a time of crisis? Have pity on our rice farmers who could hardly make a living. Just drop it! Marcos added. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency