Palay purchase bill passed

November 12, 2019

WITH a vote of 206-0, a resolution allowing the use of the remaining P6.97 billion rice subsidy to buy palay (unmilled rice) from local farmers was approved on third and final reading.

No one objected to the passage of the House Joint Resolution (HJR) No. 22.

The resolution authorizes the government to tap the remaining P6.97-billion rice subsidy fund under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in 2019 to buy palay from farmers.

The resolution was endorsed and sponsored by the House Committee on Food and Agriculture chaired by Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga.

The joint resolution would transfer to the National Food Authority the unused P6.97-billion rice subsidy fund under the current budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The government will use these funds to buy palay from local farmers at P19 per kilo.

The Senate approved its version of the joint version on 3rd reading last week.

To date, farmgate prices of palay have reportedly dropped to as low as P7 per kilo in some provinces, the plunge blamed on the passage of the rice tariffication law that replaced the old import quotas with tariffs.

Meanwhile, the House has realigned P3.5 billion under the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for 2020 to augment the Department of Agriculture’s allocations. This will allow the agency to buy more palay stock from farmers amid the plummeting farmgate prices in parts of the country.