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Villar: No shortage of rice

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“It is not true that there is shortage of rice in the country.”

Thus, the quick response of Senator Cynthia Villar to members of the press who asked her about the revelation of the National Food Authority that the country does not have enough supply of the staple food.

Villar who was in Zamboanga City last Thursday for the public hearing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law blamed the NFA officials for causing panic to the people.

“We just came from a very good harvest by our farmers. Tinatakot lang nila ang tao because they failed in their jobs,” Villar emphasized.

Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture, earlier held a hearing on bills seeking to lift the quantitative restrictions on rice imports and the creation of rice fund for farmers.

The senator also said it is NFA’s duty to inform consumers not to worry about higher cost of rice even if pump prices have increased due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

She said there is no reason for the prices of rice to spike because of the implementation of TRAIN.

The senator called the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to continue its monitoring and prevent price increase.

Villar said fuel, which was hit by TRAIN, is only a small part of the rice production costs.

The senator warned it was possible that the new taxes were being used as an excuse by some traders to jack up the  price.(Elinor Fernandez)




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