President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. favored Filipino farmers over his economic team as he rejected the proposal to lower the tariffs on imported rice for price of local rice to remain stable.
Earlier, President Marcos’ economic team led by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno proposed to lower the tariff or tax on imported rice from 35 percent to 10 percent.
But the President stressed that it is only the rice importers and not Filipino farmers who will benefit from the proposal of his economic team.
Rosendo So, chairman of Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), said President Marcos’ decision ultimately favors local farmers as rice harvest season was underway.
With the President’s directive, So said price of local rice will remain stable and the collection of tariffs will greatly benefit Filipino farmers.
“Magandang development po ito dahil nag-aanihan na tayo. Ang presyo ng palay ay mananatiling stable, hindi na po ito babagsak,” the leader of the farmers’ group said.
During a sectoral meeting at Malacañang on Tuesday, September 26, President Marcos stressed that it was not the right time to lower tariffs as it was already expected that the cost of rice will eventually decline in the world market.
The President has also assured the public that the government will remain determined to end smuggling and hoarding of rice, stressing that an “iron hand” is needed against smugglers and hoarders.
He also stressed supply of rice was enough, and that smugglers and hoarders have been manipulating the prices of agricultural products in the local markets.