Lalong nalulugi! Pangilinan blames Cynthia Villar’s Rice Tariffication Law for making farmers go bankrupt

Senator Kiko Pangilinan / photo file by Philstar

Senator Francis Pangilinan on Thursday expressed disappointment over Senator Cynthia Villar’s Rice Tariffication Law, which according to him worsened the situation of our farmers.

The opposition senator said farmers are now earning less compared their income in 2018.

“Nalulugi ang ating mga magsasaka nang halos P60 bilyon dulot ng epekto ng Rice Tariffication Law. Tatlong piso kada isang kilo ng palay ang kanilang nawalang kita kumpara sa 2018,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said some of the farmers even stopped cultivating their lands for fear of losing money. He also urged the government to help farmers to access to sell rice in the market.

“Hanapin sa mga suki ang local rice dahil alam natin na punong-puno ang merkado ng imported rice,” he said

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Wednesday to buy all palay harvest this season as number of farmers complained of low prices for their produce due to the rice tariffication law.

“The solution should be or will be for the Secretary of Agriculture to buy all. Magkano ba presyo nila? Bilhin natin. Lugi? Lugi talaga. Are we wasting money? No. We are not wasting an industry, we are helping an industry,” Duterte said

“Eh ‘di malugi. ‘Yan man ang… Kaya ako nagkokolekta ng buwis eh. Kaya ako happy ako pagka nakatsamba ka ng bilyon diyan na tax evader. But I can satisfy the demands of the people,” he added.

Duterte, however, defended the tariffication law saying it was meant to pave way to cheaper rice prices.

“It is a mode that is intended to serve the greater interest the majority of the people. So ang solusyon diyan, bilhin natin. Bakit tayo nagkokolekta ng taxes? Para malugi. Para makatulong ka sa… Okay?” the president said

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