Pres. Duterte orders unimpeded rice importation to curb inflation

  • President Duterte wants to flood the market with rice to curb the inflation
  • The National Food Authority has no longer a say on how much rice will be imported
  • The increase in the supply of rice will result in the lowering of its price
Image from NFA’s Facebook page

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the liberalization of rice importation in a bid to curb the rising inflation in the country. With his directive, any individual or company with the wherewithal to import rice could do so.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the President wants to flood the market with rice so that people will have access to affordable rice amid the rising cost of fuel.

“He wants to flood the market with rice that even if the price of oil should further go up, the people will have access to affordable rice,” the presidential spokesperson said; explaining that the increase in rice supply will result in the lowering of its price.

Image from PNA

Roque said the National Food Authority will no longer have a say on how much rice should be imported and that anyone who can pay the tax on imports is allowed to import rice.

“With the President’s directive, the National Food Authority (NFA) no longer has any say on how much rice should be imported. Anyone who can afford it and will pay tariffs will be allowed to import rice,” he said.

“Wala na pong mga [There are no more] restrictions. It’s a free market now for rice. Wala nang [There will be no more] accreditation, wala nang permiso [no need for permission] — well, of course, they need to procure import permits… But no one will have to approve the importation anymore, basta [so long as] they comply with the documentary requirements,” Roque added.

Roque shared that the President’s approval to liberalize the importation of rice as a measure to reduce inflation has been the highlight of the 30th Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. During the said meeting, Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol had a heated exchange of opinions.