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Villar: P32 per kilo of rice possible, not P20

By: Doris C. Bongcac - Senior Copy Editor - CDN Digital | July 23,2022 - 03:00 PM

A farmer shows rice grains after harvesting them from a field REUTERS FILE PHOTO

A farmer shows rice grains after harvesting them from a field. | REUTERS FILE PHOTO

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – Plans to bring down the price of rice to P20 per kilo is very difficult to do.

What is more feasible is to bring this down to at least P32 per kilo, said Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Commission on Agriculture and Food.

And doing this would entail a lot of hard work.

Villar said there is a need to already implement the mechanization of the agricultural sector and get rid of middlemen to allow farmers to directly sell their harvest to the buyers at a cheaper cost.

As a legislator, she has also introduced bills that will help spur the country’s agricultural growth, protect the environment and empower local entrepreneurs.

READ: Cynthia Villar files priority bills on agriculture, environment, MSMEs

“Siguro kung magaling tayo kaya natin ang P32, but P20 [per kilo] is very difficult. Unless malaki ang subsidy,” she said.

(Perhaps, if we are good, we can achieve P32, but P20 [per kilo] is very difficult. Unless, the subsidy is large.)

NFA rice that is highly subsidized by government is now sold at P27 per kilo, said Villar, who on Friday, visited in Cebu for the first time since the pandemic broke to address participants of the 9th PICPA (Philippine Institute Of Certified Public Accountants) Cebu Summit and induct their new sets of officers.

Villar expressed confidence that the current administration would be able to come up with plans on how to address the increasing cost of food, especially agricultural products, in the country.

The need to look into the real state of the agriculture sector could also be the reason why President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. decided to occupy the position of Agriculture Sectary.

“If the food prices will go up, the president will become unpopular. That is what happened in 2018. The only time President Duterte’s popularity went down was in 2018 when rice became P60 per kilo. That is why we passed that rice tarrification law, created the rice competitiveness enhancement fund,” said Villar.

“So, I think he (President Marcos) is very conscious that you know pag mahal ang pagkain nagiging unpopular ang president. Kaya dapat maayos yang prices ng pagkain,” she added.

(So, I think he (President Marcos) is very conscious that you know if food is expensive the president will become unpopular. That is why prices of food will need to be fixed.)

However, she said, that Marcos’ leadership of the Department of Agriculture could only be “temporary.”

“Siguro gusto nya lang makita yong agriculture, the real state of our agriculture and then he will appoint later. Medyo very important lang kasi yong food security,” she said.

(Perhaps, he just wants to see what the situation in the agriculture sector is, the real state of agriculture, and then he will appoint later. Food security is really quite very important.


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P20 per kilo rice possible as early as 2023 – DAR


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