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Marcos: NFA sets new buying price for dry, wet palay

Metro Manila, September 23 ------ The National Food Authority set new buying prices for wet and dry palay in a bid to improve farmers’ income and ensure stable supply, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said. “At ganoon nga ang pinag-meeting-an namin at nag-decide kami na ngayon ang buying price ng NFA mula ngayon ay sa dry ay ₱19 to ₱23, ang wet ay magiging ₱16 to ₱19. Iyon ang naging desisyon ng mga NFA Council,” announced Marcos.

Before the council's decision, the government set the buying price for dry and wet palay at a flat rate of ₱19 per kilogram. The latest price range comes shortly after the Marcos administration’s controversial decision to implement a price cap of ₱41 per kilo for regular milled rice and ₱45 per kilo for well-milled rice. The move surprised even the country’s economic team. The NFA explained that the new price range will balance the profits of farmers and won’t spike retail prices. It said that the earlier proposed buying prices of ₱25 and ₱20 for dry and wet palay, respectively, were too high.

The agency said that at a buying price of ₱23 for dry palay, the government would need ₱15 billion for the procurement fund whereas for the originally proposed price of ₱25, palay procurement would cost ₱16 billion. Marcos said the NFA’s decision would allow farmers to earn more. “At bukod pa roon, nandiyan na ‘yung price cap para maikalma natin itong nangyayari sa rice prices,” he said. The NFA also said that to ensure no imported rice will enter the consumer market, supply from abroad will be realigned to serve as buffer stock for the indigent sector. The United States Department of Agriculture last week reported that the Philippines overtook China as the world’s top rice importer in 2023.

For its part, the Tariff Commission (TC) refuted claims that its public hearings on lowering tariff rates on rice imports were “rigged,” stressing it is committed “to weigh the positions both for and against any proposal.” “Thus, to brand the public hearings as an “exercise [that] is rigged and designed to make it appear that stakeholders are being consulted on the proposal,” on the alleged ground that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Finance (DOF) had made press releases to decrease the tariff on rice, is misleading, if not erroneous, altogether,” TC said in a statement sent to CNN Philippines.

The statement of the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) dated Sept. 13 said the government's proposal to cut tariff on rice imports would be ill-timed since harvest season is about to begin and that prices would naturally go down. The TC noted that it was weighing the positions of both for and against any proposal or petition mentioned for the matter. “Thereafter, through the CTRM (Committee on Trade and Related Matters), these matters and concerns are likewise raised to the President for his consideration,” the commission concluded.



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