DA reserves P3-B for next year to support more farmers affected by rice tariff law

Marje Pelayo   •   November 19, 2019   •   1363

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will reserve P3 billion for the next batch of farmers affected by the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).

Agriculture Secretary William Dar clarified that only those farmers who yield one to two hectares of farmland may avail of the P5,000 unconditional cash transfer.

Also, the distribution of rice to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will begin next week in lieu of the supposed rice cash allowance.

The rice supply for the said program will come from farmers to help them dispose of their yield and cope up with the struggles of the plummeting price of rice in local markets.

The DA is also looking into cases of smuggling of rice and other agricultural products into the country.

Dar, meanwhile, asked farmers who will be staging a protest on Wednesday to consider what the Department is currently doing to ease the effect of RTL. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Millers urge government to buy locally-produced rice

Marje Pelayo   •   May 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Under Executive Order 135, the tariff on rice from countries like India, Pakistan and China will be reduced to 35% from 40% to 50%.

Agriculture group Samahan ng Industriyang Agrikultura (SINAG) said traders might divert and buy imported rice than the locally-produced one because of price differences.

As a consequence, millers would need to buy rice from local farmers at a lower price.

“Doon sa P24 na landed cost (ng imported rice), ang pwede nilang bili sa farmers is P15 ang dry, ang wet ay nasa P12. With that price, malulugi ang farmers dahil wala pa sa break even price iyon,” said SINAG’s Rosendo So.

Thus, millers are calling on government to buy locally produced rice through the National Food Authority (NFA) at P17.50 per kilogram and a milling fee of P3 to P5 per kilogram.

SINAG estimates that the government needs P205 billion to buy around 12 million metric tons of harvest from June to December this year.

“With this new EO, kung mag backout ang magsasaka dahil ang miller ay hindi bibili ng mataas dahil malulugi sila, malaking shortage natin sa bigas,” So added.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that the NFA can only buy a limited volume of rice.

“NFA will only buy because they are mandated to maintain buffer stock, so yun lang ang bibilhin ng gobyerno,” Dar said.

The official said that only the 10% deficit in local rice production will be allowed to import.

Dar added that farmers are now enjoying the benefit of the rice enhancement competitive fund under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).

“The farmers, sabi naman nila dati, aatras sila because of the RTL. The farmers continue to plant,” Dar noted.

He said the intention behind the lowering of tariff was to make rice affordable. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DA to impose SRP on imported pork beginning April 9

Marje Pelayo   •   April 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) will be imposing a suggested retail price (SRP) on imported pork which is now cheaper than locally produced meat.

At present, the price of kasim is P270 per kilogram; while liempo costs P350 per kilogram.

Likewise, the DA will require importers and retailers to put proper labeling in each package for easy distinction and for the protection of consumers.

“The DA thru the NMIS-the National Meat Inspection Service will require importers to package their pork, of course, those 2 categories– Liempo or Kasim, into salable packages of 1 kilo or 500 grams,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Thursday (April 8) is the last day of a two-month implementation of the price cap on pork and poultry meat.

The DA plans to focus on additional strategies to prevent a further spike in the prices of such commodities.

The DA sees a possible importation of pork meat and a lowering of tariff.

But while this strategy remains pending approval, the DA will continue transporting pork from African Swine Fever-free provinces to Metro Manila to stabilize supply.

The agency also sees the repopulation of pigs in ASF-free areas.

“Iyong dati, iyong price cap will not solve the problem. Ang bottom line pa rin ay supply,” noted Dar.

“Price capping is just one of the measures. So to stabilize prices talaga you have to complete those other measures to be in place,” he added.

The DA has allocated P45-M for the procurement of freezers which will be provided to retailers.

A compliance monitoring team will also be created to ensure that retailers are observing and following the SRP.

For its part, the Trade Department hopes that an additional supply of pork will help stabilize the prices.

“I think P320 to P350 hopefully will be the ideal price moving forward. Given maybe the expected supply asahan natin na dyan po iikot ang presyo in a way medyo istable na,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

But for consumers, the implementation of the price cap remains best as they hope to hear the result of the investigation on the alleged manipulation in pork prices as soon as possible.

“Dito sa SRP suggested di ba? Suggested retail prices. So malikot pa rin ang presyo sa palengke,” said the group’s representative Atty. Vic Dimagiba. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DA eyes SRP for pork, chicken after price cap

Marje Pelayo   •   April 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) believes that the implementation of the price ceiling has been effective in controlling the prices of pork in the country.

This, even if the P270 to P300 pesos per kilogram price cap was not followed in the past two months.

Prior to the price ceiling, pork products were sold at a staggering P450 pesos per kilogram specifically in February.

“Successful ang overall lahat ng measures towards the price cap at least hindi na umabot ng P400 (per kilo),” noted DA Secretary William Dar.

Now, prices of pork in Metro Manila markets range from P350 to P400 pesos.

The DA is currently looking into setting a suggested retail price after the lifting of the price ceiling for pork and chicken on April 8.

“We are looking at the SRP structure pero wala pa kaming recommendations. We will finalize before April 8,” Dar said.

The DA will also assess if it will continue the transport assistance for hog raisers from provinces delivered in Metro Manila.

A group of dealers and vendors in the Commonwealth market, opposes the setting of SRP but favors the implementation of a price cap.

“Mas lalong walang masusunod na presyo dyan kasi suggested retail price lang yan… pwedeng magkaroon sila ng dayaan mataas ang baboy si ganito, pwedeng magsinungaling,” said meat dealer Toto Rillo.

Meanwhile, the farmgate price of chicken decreased by P40 pesos per kilogram since March 12.

The United Broiler Raiser’s Association said this is the effects of the past holiday season and the reimplementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“May impact na talaga lack of purchasing power nung consumers, down talaga ang economy natin. Ang curfew nila ngayon is 6 o’clock. Malaki nawawala sa demand. kahit yung mga lechon manok apektado,” noted Atty. Bong Inciong of the United Broiler Raiser’s Association (UBRA).

UBRA favors the implementation of SRP provided that prices will be recomputed to reflect the appropriate price.

The group, on the other hand, opposes the implementation of the price ceiling.

“The price cap will be counterproductive because you are distorting the prices. maraming mawawalan ng gana because you are distorting the prices and the incentives to be produce or import to increase supply,” it said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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