The scourge of liberalization to rice farmers


ECONOMIC OFFICIALS of the reactionary government, during their Pre-State of the Nation Address Economic and Infrastructure Forum, dubbed the Re­pub­lic Act 11203 or Rice Li­be­ra­liza­ti­on Act a “monumental legislative achievement.” This is a big fat lie as this “achievement” is considered a scourge by rice farmers.

The said law was implemented in December 2018 to arrest rice inflation in the local market. In reality, however, the price of rice only dropped by ₱1-2 since the implementation of the law. Its retail price is still pegged at ₱30-₱70.

This is despite the deluge of imported rice whose landed cost range from ₱18-₱25/ki­lo.

On the other hand, the average farmgate price of local palay dropped from ₱20/ki­lo in the beginning of 2019 to ₱12-₱17/ki­lo this June. This value is almost equivalent to the cost of production shouldered by rice farmers. Because of this, rice farmers are expected to lose up to ₱114 billion this year which is way beyond the much-hyped ₱5.9 billion rice tariff which was collected after the implementation of the liberalization law.

The scourge of liberalization to rice farmers