Oct 1, 2020

Palawan farmers expected to join rally vs easing rice imports law

(File photo)

Palawan farmers are expected to join a mass rally that the Philippine Farmer Action Board (PFAB) is planning to organize in Manila to express opposition to the newly-signed rice tariffication law which they claimed would have a negative effect on their production.

PFAB regional assistant secretary and Palawan chapter president Estrelita Quiampo said Wednesday that the mass rally hopes to let President Rodrigo Duterte know that their farm production is in grave danger because of the signing of Republic Act No 11203 or “An Act liberalizing the importation, exportation, and trading of rice, lifting for the purpose the quantitative import restriction on rice.”

“Kaming mga farmers, hindi rin kami dyan papayag dahil ang mga produkto ng mga farmers natin sa probinsya, at hindi lang sa probinsya kung hindi sa buong Pilipinas… kapag ganyan ay mababarat ang produkto natin kasi wala na ‘yong importation restriction sa bansa natin. Unang-unang apektado ay mga farmers kaya kami, meron kaming binabalak na malakihang rally,” she said.

Quiampo said the new rice law will also cause difficulty to the National Food Authority (NFA) that will lose its regulatory powers to influence rice prices.

She said the meeting will be on February 25 in Batangas with the NFA. Its results will be echoed to the president of agricultural cooperatives and to their members.

“Wala naman sigurong masama sa pag-import sa mga panahon na kailangang-kailangan talaga, pero huwag naman ‘yong katulad nyan na mawawalan na ng control ang NFA sa rice imports. Napakalaking banta talaga nito sa Pilipinas lalo na sa mga magsasaka,” she said.

Quiampo said Palawan farmers should support the planned mass rally to show their opposition against the law that could seriously affect their livelihood.

She added they will also collect signatures from all the members of the cooperatives if it is what is needed to extend their concern to President Duterte.

“Tingin ko talaga, personal na opinion ko dito, parang nagkukulang talaga sila sa pag-aaral magmula dito sa ibaba sa pinakamaliit na antas ng mga tao sa baba. Alam naman natin na sila nariyan sa taas, hindi nila talaga masyadong nakikita ang mga tao dito sa baba, so iyon ang layunin namin na ipakita talaga ang magiging epekto nyan,” she pointed out.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkI-MuHgPMI&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0xZX_oXlHr3JqrgcuHn380rFDYMiW6rb9s_rfwJRQIEBlqsJiXPfJyIUA

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