Duterte gets Vietnam guarantee on rice imports
President Rodrigo Duterte secured a pledge from Vietnam that it would honor its commitment to export rice to the Philippines, whose grain-producing provinces were included in a lockdown to curb the coronavirus pandemic, Manila's agriculture chief said Tuesday.
"The President has called iyong counterpart po niya sa Vietnam at siniguro pong iyong kontrata na, andoon iyong import clearances e irerespeto nila iyon," said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
(The President has called his Vietnamese counterpart, who ensured his country would honor the contracts, import clearances that are already in place.)
''Huwag po tayong mangamba po. Marami pang sources: Myanmar, India... China," he told DZMM.
(Let's not worry, we have many other sources: Myanmar, India, China.)
The agriculture department and the Landbank of the Philippines next week will finalize guidelines for a P25,000 loan on top of cash assistance for local farmers, said Dar.
He said his agency was still looking for sources of aid for fishermen.
The social welfare department has separate funds of P200 billion to help some 18 million "vulnerable" families during the lockdown of the entire Luzon province, he said.
An inter-agency task force on Monday night also affirmed that lockdown checkpoints in Luzon should not block food deliveries, added Dar.
DZMM, March 31, 2020