Rep. Wilbert Lee: P20 per kilo of rice still possible
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The promise of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to lower the price of rice to P20 per kilo remains doable if House Bill No. 9020 or the “Cheaper Rice Act” is passed into law, Agri Partylist Representative Wilbert Lee said.
Under his proposed bill, Lee said that the government will have to capitalize on the farmers through a “price subsidy program” to make sure that they earn profits and boost their production.
“Para sa akin, ang pinaka summary lang nito is actually making sure that the farmers, na gustong magbinta ng kanilang palay, ay may kita sila. Paano po ito no, para sa akin, first of all, for me, food security is also a national security issue,” said Lee who was in Cebu on Sunday to attend a function in Lapu-Lapu City.
He said that the Department of Agriculture (DA), in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other government agencies, should buy palay from farmers at higher prices, and sell the rice to consumers at cheaper cost.
“So paano po gagawin, kung ang palay po, ang farmgate price ay P20, dapat bibilhan yan ng gobyerno ng P5 or P10 higher. So meron silang kitang segurado per kilo,” he added.
Lee said the government should also give technical assistance to the farmers to increase their yields while cutting down their rice production cost.
As the farmers earn more, they are also expected to increase their rice production, Lee said.
In addition, this will also attract the younger generation to venture into farming because of the income that they are expected to earn.
Lee’s proposed bill is currently at the committee level.
If passed, Lee said the government would need to allocate P100 billion to P200 billion for program implementation.
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