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Duterte raises loan budget for vendors, small businessmen to curb “5-6”

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte at a press briefing in Cebu after his arrival from his official visit to Korea.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an increase in the loan budget for vendors and small businessmen, according to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

Piñol said the President made the directive on Monday, June 11, during their regular Cabinet meeting.

Secretary Piñol cited Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez as saying that vendors and retailers resorting to “5-6” lending scheme are forced to increase the prices of their products. Such lending scheme collects up to 20% interest.

“So the tindera will have to come up with a margin of profit that will cover the 20% interest that she has to pay to the usurer on a daily basis and the mark up for her profit,” Piñol explained.

Based on DTI’s study, “5-6” lenders already have more than P30 billion collectible amount scattered across the country.

“So iyon ang kailangang tapatan ng gobyerno because unless we do that, it will be the consumers who will be at a great loss. Because they are actually the ones paying the interest of the 5-6 utang of the tinderas,” explained Secretary Piñol.

DTI’s budget for the loan program is currently P1 billion. It will be raised to P5 billion as ordered by the President.

Piñol added that at present, the government has existing loan programs for food producers such as farmers and fishermen to aid in their expenses. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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DA counters rice shortage claim, confirms supply for 45 days

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol

MANILA, Philippines – There is no shortage of rice supply.

This was the assurance of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol amid speculations of supply shortage eventually causing price hike in rice.

Tumaas ang presyo ng bigas at ang mga traders naman in response doon sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bigas, nagpaligsahan sa pagbili ng what ever the available harvest there was,” the Secretary said.

Earlier today, Piñol met with rice industry stakeholders including farmers, dealers and retailers to confirm the true state of the country’s rice supply as well as the movement of rice prices in local markets at present.

Piñol said, though they assured that there is enough supply of rice in the country, the overall buffer stock, comprised of those stocked in households, those out in commercial markets and those inside the warehouses of the National Food Authority (NFA), is enough for nationwide consumption of only up to 45 days.

The Agriculture Secretary explained that there were delays in deliveries of imported rice because of port congestion and successive days of monsoon rain.

He noted that because of the speculations, the price of commercial rice shot up.

Meanwhile, rice millers assured that there is no hoarding of supply at this time.

 “Some millers from Central Luzon, ang supply nila nanggagaling sa amin. Pag bumili sila sa amin binibigyan namin sila ng palay para meron silang ma-mill dito sa Central Luzon. Iyon ang actual na nangyayari sa Isabela kaya there is no hoarding,” explained Ernesto Suvia of Golden Harvest Rice Mill.

For now, the DA said they trust the traders and millers that rice supply in the country is indeed enough.

However, the agency said they still have to validate if such state is true.

“But I told them that government reserves the right to validate. And validation would mean the inspection of their warehouses with warning that anybody caught hoarding rice will be prosecuted and the stocks will be confiscated,” Secretary Piñol warned.

Meanwhile, the DA is now contemplating on another importation of rice supply in preparation for the possible effects of el niño that is likely to occur in the last quarter of the year. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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Lawmakers set one-week break to wait for Duterte’s EO on tariff

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Senate and the House of Representatives will suspend its session next week from August 20 to August 27.

According to House Deputy Speaker Rep. Prospero Pichay, the sudden decision is to give enough time for President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an executive order that would lower tariff rates on basic goods such as rice, fish, vegetables, and meat among others.

Pichay added that House Speaker Gloria Arroyo also had discussions with the economic managers of the Duterte administration regarding measures that the government may take to lower tariff rates.

The Lower House recently approved the measure on rice tariffication that seeks to lower tax rates on imported rice.

The government is expected to save a total of P20-B from the proposal which it intends to use to help local farmers. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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Duterte asks PDP-Laban members to unite behind government

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has called for continued support from the members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to address issues that are facing the country.

Duterte, the chairman of the PDP-Laban, made his appeal during the party’s reunion of leaders and the celebration of the first anniversary of PDP Cares on Wednesday.

“As we [undergo] reforms in this administration, our unity is now more important than ever. I, therefore, ask the continued support of PDP-Laban and its partners in creating practical solutions to address the root cause of our nation’s problems,” Duterte said.

The Chief Executive also challenged the members of the ruling political party to remain true to its vision to promote good governance and to address issues that continue to strangle Filipinos.

“Let us remain committed to the party’s vision of liberating our people from the clutches of poverty, conflict, crime, illegal drugs and corruption through the promotion of justice, equality, and good governance,” he said.

He also called on his party-mates to promote the proposed shift to federalism which is a priority measure of his administration.

Present in the event were PDP-Laban President Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel and former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

The party assembly was held just a few days after President Duterte met with the two warring factions and urged them to settle their differences.

But Pimentel insists there is no faction in the PDP-Laban, saying one cannot highjack a party by holding an event and electing himself as its leader if he is a non-member.

Pimentel is referring to Rogelio Garcia, a classmate of Duterte, who claims to lead the other group.

Congressman Alvarez also agreed with Pimentel’s statement.

“Hindi. Isa lang. Isa lang talaga. Wala namang infighting. I think, mali lang iyong impression na iyan,” said Alvarez.

The members of the PDP-Laban are expected to meet again by September to iron out other issues. – Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue

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