Enrile warns of ‘food riots’ if war breaks

March 12, 2019 at 7:27 am Leave a comment

By Yolanda Sotelo

DAGUPAN CITY – Senator Juan Ponce Enrile warned of dangers of unregulated importation of rice, picturing a worst scenario of food riots if ever a war breaks between the Philippines and Asian countries where rice are sourced.

He said the country has plenty of farmers, and that farming is the source of livelihood of many Filipinos.

“But if we become dependent on imported rice because of unregulated importation and there will be no more farmers? What would be the impact on the country’s farmers? On the consumers? On food security of the country?” Enrile posed during a press conference on Friday here.

“Kung wala ng magsasaka sa ating bansa, at magkagiyera, at one week lack of rice in this country would mean we will kill each other for the rice, (there will be) food riot,” he said.

A law has been passed  imposing taxes instead of limiting the amount of imported rice entering the country. It will enforce a 35-percent tariff on rice importations from Southeast Asian states and 50 percent on imports from countries that are not members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

But Enrile said as a matter of national security, I will not advocate that law.

“Pag-aaralan namin yan ulit, kami ni (Senator) Nancy (Binay) at mga  kasama sa Senado if swertehen na makabalik duon para magkaruon ng siguradong source of food in the country,” he said.

He plans to propose a law to inventory the entire arable, cultivatable, plantable areas of the Philippines for rice and corn, and those not yet cultivated but are capable of being developed into rice land.

“We will quantify the volume of rice cereals that we can produce from these lands, and will allow only the importation of rice the demand and supply of local supply to protect farmers of the country, so that they can continue farming, you protect the interest of consumers, so that they will not be overburdened by high price of rice, and so you can assure this country that whatever happens, it has enough to feed its population,” he said.


Entry filed under: News.

EDITORIAL: Debatehan o talakayan ng mga kandidato, dapat isulong RICE HUSK

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