Efforts to reduce rice prices continue despite RTL amendments

House of Representatives Speaker Emphasizes Need to Lower Rice Prices

The efforts to reduce rice prices in the Philippines are ongoing, as House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez stated that amending the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) is just one aspect of this mission. During a press briefing, Romualdez mentioned that while amendments to the RTL are crucial for price stabilization, the House is exploring various approaches to achieve this goal.

The House recently passed House Bill No. 10381, proposing amendments to the RTL that aim to restore some functions of the National Food Authority (NFA). However, some senators expressed concerns about potential corruption risks if the NFA is granted more authority in the rice market.

Romualdez highlighted the importance of using all available laws and considering amendments to address factors that contribute to high rice prices. He emphasized the goal of ensuring that every Filipino family has access to quality rice at affordable prices throughout the year.

Quezon 1st District Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga, chairperson of the House committee on agriculture, discussed the proposed RTL amendments with Senator Cynthia Villar, who expressed reservations about reviving the NFA’s importing role.

While Speaker Romualdez previously projected a potential P15 per kilogram decrease in rice prices if the RTL amendments were approved, the Senate did not discuss the bill before adjourning. As a result, lawmakers anticipate a more modest decrease of P5 to P6 per kilogram.

Despite the challenges, Romualdez and other lawmakers remain optimistic about the Senate passing an acceptable version of the RTL amendments to help lower rice prices for all Filipino households.

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