MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives gave its nod to a joint resolution allowing the government to directly buy palay stock from rice farmers.
If signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, the joint resolution would have the full force and effect of the law.
HJR No. 22 would authorize the National Food Authority to tap the remaining P6.97-billion rice subsidy fund under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in 2019 to buy palay from farmers. This fund is under the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Under the resolution, the government would use the money to buy palay from local farmers at P19 per kilo.
Farmgate prices of palay have reportedly dropped to as low as P7 per kilo in some areas, with critics pinning the blame on the passage of the rice tariffication law that replaced import quotas with tariffs. (READ: [ANALYSIS] Plummeting rice prices: How will our rice farmers cope?)
The House realigned P3.5 billion under the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for 2020 to augment the Department of Agriculture's allocations. This will allow the agency to buy more palay stock from farmers amid the plummeting farmgate prices in parts of the country. – Rappler.com