Speaker bats for cheaper rice

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

THE HOUSE of Representatives is prioritizing amendments to the Rice Tariffication Law in a bid to reduce the retail prices of rice, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez assured on Tuesday.

Amending the rice law to allow the government to directly sell rice to the public would reduce the food staple’s price down to P30 per kilo, according to the House leader.

“We should bring the price of rice down by at least P10 or even P15, to close it at P30 pesos per kilo by June. We are doing this because the president said we have to find ways to reduce the market price of rice,” Mr. Romualdez told a media conference.

At present, the House is deliberating on several measures seeking to amend the Rice Tariffication Law, which liberalized the importation of rice products into the country, a move expected to reduce the retail prices of the food staple. 

Mr. Romualdez said he would work with Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in amending the rice law, asking the executive leader to certify it as urgent.

He also urged the Senate to prioritize their deliberation of the rice law.

Proposed amendments to the Rice Tariffication Law would include changes to its tariff rates and taxes, and expanding the National Food Authority’s ability to buy unmilled rice directly from producers. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio