Scrap Rice Liberalization Law to achieve 2027 rice ‘self-sufficiency’ – group

Some women farmers suggest President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. can achieve his desired “rice self-sufficiency” within four years by completely scrapping the Rice Liberalization Law and replacing it with a law that will benefit the local industry.

On Tuesday, the Department of Agriculture, led by Bongbong, announced the plan to stop importing rice from foreign countries starting in 2027 through its Masagana Rice Program 2023-2028.


“Kung seryoso, dapat ngayon pa lang ipawalambisa ang Rice Liberalization Law. Ibalik ang regulatory power ng [National Food Authority] na hindi lang sa buffer stocking, maglaan ng malaking badyet para bilhin ang palay ng mga magsasaka kasabay nito, may ayuda at subsidyong binibigay,” said Amihan – National Federation of Peasant Women secretary general Cathy Estavillo.

The Rice Liberalization Law or Republic Act 11203 refers to the law that removed the limitation on the entry of rice by foreigners in the Philippines in exchange for the tariff payment.

Progressive groups initially said imported rice would slow down local production, especially if it relentlessly flooded the market.


Scrap Rice Liberalization Law to achieve 2027 rice ‘self-sufficiency’ – group

Marcos Jr. is pushing such a plan while promising the public that the price of rice will drop to P20/kilo. According to the Department of Agriculture, this is still far from reality at P34 to P60/kilo.

It was only in September 2022 that Anakpawis said that farmers lost more than P200 billion due to RA 11203 in 2021.

Activists have long called for enacting the Rice Industry Development Act (RIDA) or House Bill 404 of the Makabaan bloc. They say it will answer food security based on the country’s self-sufficiency and self-reliance.


If implemented, it will allocate P495 billion in funds for the rice sector “to achieve a favorable farm gate price” of at least P20/kilo and a retail price of P25/kilo.

Just yesterday, the DA said it plans to stabilize rice supply from 24.99 million metric tons to 26.86 million MT in its “five-year program”.

It also aims to lower rice inflation to less than 1% annually, increasing farmers’ income by 54%, and ensuring adequate buffer stock through NFA.

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