P20/kilo rice? Possible only with gov’t subsidy, says agriculture group

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2022 01:16 AM

MANILA – Is it possible for rice prices to go down to P20 per kilo? Yes, but only with government subsidy, an agricultural group said.

According to Joji Co, chairperson of the Philippine Confederation of Grains Associations, said P20 per kilo is only possible with government subsidy, and only for rice from the National Food Authority.

"'Yung P20 pwede 'yan kung may subsidy ang government. Pero kung walang subsidy, parang mahirap 'yan kasi ang nangyayari ngayon diyan, kahit mag-import tayo sa Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar," he told Teleradyo.

(P20 is possible with government subsidy. But without subsidy, it would be difficult, even if we import from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar.)

He also said it would be better if the government would distribute food coupons to only those who really need more affordable rice.

"Pwede 'yan kung mag-import ang gobyerno, mas mura ang magiging cost, tapos subsidized. Pero 'pag subsidy, ang magiging suggestion ko diyan, bigyan ng food coupons 'yung karapat-dapat namang makatanggap. Kasi ang nangyari noong sinubsidize ng government 'yang NFA rice, any Tom, Dick and Harry, pwedeng bumili niyan eh," Co said.

(It would be possible if the government imports rice, the cost will be lower, then subsidized. But if there will be subsidy, my suggestion is for the government to distribute food coupons to those who need it. Because what happened before when the government subsidized NFA rice, any Tom, Dick and Harry can buy it.)

"Ang purpose ng bigas na 'yan, para sa mahihirap. Ang nangyari kasi diyan, sa mura ng bigas na 'yan, lalo na ngayon, usong uso 'yung mag-alaga ng mga aso, eh bibilhin ng mga tao sa P20, tapos imbes na sa tao, ipapakain sa aso 'yan ng mga mayayaman."

(That rice is for the poor. What happened is because it is cheap, and a lot of people have dogs, then people would buy the P20 rice to feed dogs.)

Co clarified that without subsidy from the government, it would not be possible to lower the price to P20 without the farmers suffering from low prices of palay as well.

"Ang magiging presyo niyan, kapag binili mo sa magsasaka, P10 o P11. So magkano ang production cost ng magsasaka niyan, aangal ang magsasaka," he said.

(The price of that, when you buy it from the farmers, P10 or P11. The farmers will complain because of their costs.)

A lower price for commercial rice, however, is not possible because several sectors will be affected.

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The topic of lower rice prices came up after presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said he plans to bring the price of rice of rice to P20 to P30 per kilo.

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