Palace insists on rice tariff benefits

February 18, 2019
Salvador Panelo

MALACAÑANG yesterday said it would welcome any move by farmers to question the legality of the recently-signed Rice Tariffication Law.

“It’s their (farmers’) right,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said when asked about Malacañang’s response should farmer groups seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) on rice tariffication.

He said it would be democracy at work if farmers questioned its legality in court.

“The Palace welcomes any move from any sector questioning any act of the government. That is the democratic process at work,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law rice tariffication which does away with quantitative restrictions in favor of imposing tariffs on rice imports.

The Palace said the “law is expected to result in lower rice prices and help cushion the impact of inflation for the benefit of the consumers.”

However, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) disputed the government’s claims about the benefits of the law.

The KMP said the law would be a “death sentence” to the local rice industry and to rice farmers as it would open the country to “unbridled rice importation and increasing rice prices.”