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Marawi bishop laments government ‘neglect’ of farmers

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 9/10/2019 Dalangin-Fernandez, Lira
a group of people in a field: farmers farmers

Marawi Bishop Edwin Dela Peña expressed disappointment over the government's neglect of farmers, saying that agriculture in the country should be prioritized.

"I’m so disappointed about it kasi parang nalimutan nilang ang backbone ng ating ekonomiya ay ang agriculture," Dela Peña said in a radio interview.

Palay prices have plunged to as low as P7 per kilo with the implementation of the Rice Tariffication law. Some Filipino farmers are now crying for help from the government. 

Rice Tariffication law allows unlimited importation of rice in the country while setting a higher tariff.

The P10 billion expected to be collected annually from these tariffs or the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), is allotted to benefit local farmers through loan programs as safeguard to compete with importers.

However, for Dela Peña, loans are not enough to address the issues of the farmers. The bishop said concrete measures should be done to avoid the plummet in rice production.

"This is a very serious and important issue nga angay gyud unta hatagan ug pagtagad diha-diha dayon [na dapat bigyang pansin sa lalong madaling panahon.]" Dela Peña said.

The Marawi bishop pointed out that the government should prioritize agriculture sector to prevent food crisis and farmers’ strike. —Joviland Rita/LDF, GMA News

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