DA signals Palace may intervene to shield farmers from tariff bill


farmer rice field
PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) indicated that Malacañang will be open to changes to the rice tariffication bill that will benefit rice farmers in the country, Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said.

“[President Rodrigo R. Duterte] is willing to listen. I would assume that he is willing to consider some changes,” Mr. Piñol told reporters on Friday.

“The instruction given to me and to other departments is to collate the position of the farmers,” Mr. Piñol added.

The rice tariffication bill which removes the quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice importation is expected to lapse into law by Feb. 17 unless vetoed by the President. Rice farmer groups have expressed opposition to the bill, claiming that cheap imported rice will dominate the market, leaving the National Food Authority (NFA) the…



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