The ban on rice exportation in Palawan was lifted Tuesday through a provincial resolution after a year-long implementation to secure local rice supply.
Board Member Albert Rama said in his resolution that the move to lift the moratorium was brought by enough rice supply due to the current harvest season.
He said that the lifting of the moratorium on the selling and shipment of rice outside the province would also help to avoid the oversupply of the basic commodity.
Oversupply would affect the price of the rice and the livelihood of the local farmers dependent on farming.
The Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) also advised that the province has sufficient supply in inventory to meet local rice demand.
“We passed this particular measure for the reason that we want to ensure our food security during the height of the pandemic. We want to ascertain the supply of rice during that period because the office of provincial agriculture advises that there’s no assurance that there will be enough supply during that period,” he said.
“But because presently, it is already harvest season and we have enough and sufficient supply of rice. So in order not to affect the prices of rice we are now proposing to lift the restriction,” Rama added.
In September last year, Palawan rice farmers already asked the provincial board to lift the moratorium, claiming that the supply is enough to meet local demand but it was not granted.
The OPA also anticipated a shortfall in local supply even with the harvest season.
“During the pandemic, we passed an ordinance imposing a ban on the export of rice to secure and ensure the supply of rice for the province of Palawan at a time. But today, the harvest season is being started, a group of traders submitted a letter to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan requesting the august body for the lifting the ban,” Rama said previously.
The provincial government of Palawan imposed a ban on exportation of local rice through Provincial Ordinance No. 2241, series of 2020 to secure enough supply during the enhanced community quarantine brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.