Senate urged to pass rice tariffication bill

October 28, 2018
Rodrigo R. Duterte

A BICOLANO lawmaker has called on the Senate to pass its version of the rice tariffication bill as soon as the Congress resumes session in November to clear the way for its implementation next year, thus stabilizing retail prices of the staple and alleviating the plight of ordinary Filipinos reeling from the inflation surge.

Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte said President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of this import liberalization bill as a priority or urgent measure should prompt the Senate to act on it with dispatch as soon as the Congress resumes session on November 12.

“The prompt approval of the rice tariffication bill is the fastest way for both chambers of the Congress to help President Duterte tame inflation and ease its impact on consumers -- most especially this coming holiday season -- given that food expenses account for 9.7% of the consumer price index,” said Villafuerte.

Also, he said the speedy approval of this measure will go a long way in boosting palay productivity, which is a long-term approach to stabilizing the supply and price of the staple, because it provides for the establishment of a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to bankroll farm modernization and other projects beneficial to local palay growers.