Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles, visiting Palawan on Monday, warned hoarders of imported rice that they will soon be the target of a nationwide government crackdown.

Nograles said in an interview in Narra shortly after the Malatgao River Irrigation System (RIS) inauguration that traders must stop their “unscrupulous practices”.

“Kasabay niyan, ang Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), Department of Agriculture (DA), ang national government, magka-crackdown na kami sa mga nagho-hoarding. Kasi may mga nababalitaan kami, nagho-hoarding ng bigas, bibili ng imported rice tapos babaratin ‘yong mga local farmers. Iho-hoarding nila ang bigas para ang presyo sa merkado hindi babagsak,” he said.

Nograles said the government has measures to address the issue of decreasing farm gate prices, such as directing the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy more palay from farmers.

He added that there are also requests from agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH) and local government units to directly buy rice bags.

“Masyadong binabarat ang mga magsasaka natin, kung ganyan ang gagawin ng traders natin, ang magiging kakompitensiya nila ngayon ang gobyerno. Papasok ang gobyerno dito, so number one NFA, sinabihan na ng pangulo na direktang na kayong bumili sa mga magsasaka, sa presyong hindi naman binabarat tulad ng pagbarat ng ibang traders,” he said.


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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.