FFF bucks rice tariffication bill
A group of farmers has urged President Duterte to veto the rice tariffication bill and ask Congress to change provisions in the measure that will “severely tie the hands of government in addressing rice spikes and other emergencies in the future.”
The Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) said in a statement that the bill should focus only on the removal of import restrictions on rice, and that the role of the National Food Authority (NFA) under the new import scheme must be discussed separately.
Under the measure, NFA’s mandate will be limited to maintaining the country’s emergency stocks.
It will lose its power to license and monitor importers, as well as purchase its own rice stocks through importation.
FFF national business manager Raul Montemayor said the rice tariffication bill “as presently crafted, will expose the government to serious social and political risks.”
The rice tariffication bill, considered a priority measure of the Duterte administration, will allow the free flow of rice imports in the country to help bring down local rice prices and tame inflation.
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