Palace thanks Senate for passing rice tariffication bill

MANILA MalacaAang on Thursday thanked the Senate for unanimously passing on third and final reading the Rice Tariffication Bill.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte has certified the bill as urgent in a bid to bring down the price of rice in the market, and tame the high inflation.

In his communication with the leadership of the Senate, the President expressed the urgent need to improve the availability of rice in the country to prevent artificial rice shortage, reduce the prices of rice in the market, and curtail the prevalence of corruption and cartel domination in the rice industry, Panelo said in a statement.

Last Wednesday, the Senate voted 14-0 to approve Senate Bill 1998, seeking to amend Republic Act 8178 or the Agricultural Tariffication Act.

Panelo expressed optimism that the bill will smoothly hurdle the bicameral conference committee.

We are likewise confident that through the enactment of this bill into law, we would be able to protect the rice industry from sudden price fluctuations and eventually ease the burden of the Filipino consumers from soaring prices, he said.

Under Senate's proposal, the bill mandates the completion of the rice industry road map to encourage sustainable investment and to restructure the delivery of the government's support services in the rice industry.

Another feature of the proposed measure is the creation of the Rice Comprehensive Enhancement Fund (RCEF) set at a minimum of PHP10 billion a year for six years to ensure that all duties collected from imported rice will plow back to local farmers. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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