Former senator and economist Sergio Osmeña III said bringing the price of rice down to P25 per kilo also results in savings of some P150 billion for 104 million rice-eating Filipinos.
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Osmeña: Bring the price of rice down to P25 per kilo
(Philstar.com) - April 13, 2019 - 4:00am

MANILA, Philippines (As released) — Former senator Sergio Osmeña III said the Rice Tariffication Law provides a good start, as the present 35% tariff will raise some P25 villion with the Philippines importing 20% of its rice needs.

"We can give this P25 billion to the farmers in the form of mechanization, certified seeds, subsidized fertilizer, as well as credit," Osmeña said in a statement.

"The idea is to bring down the farmers cost of production. With certified seeds alone, he can increase his production from the present 4 tons per hectare to 6 tons," he added.

With the big jump in production, Osmeña said, this will bring down the farmers cost of production from P20 to as low as P12.

"At P12 cost of production you will get P25 per kilo of rice. At this point we can start reducing tariffs from 35% to 25% to 15%. Eventually at 5% tariff and P25 per kilo of rice, we have the perfect solution to this."

The price of rice is some P41 to P44 per kilo currently, while in Thailand it is P22.00 per kilo. Osmeña said bringing the price of rice down to P25 per kilo also results in savings of some P150 billion for 104 million rice-eating Filipinos.

"Why are Filipinos paying P44 per kilo of rice here? Why are 104 million Filipinos paying P150 billion more for rice?" he asked.

Osmeña, an economist, is currently running as an independent senator in the 2019 mid-term elections. As a three-term senator he was responsible for notable laws such as the Anti-Patient Detention Law and the Single Parent Law.

Apart from bringing the price of rice down to P25 with tariff reductions, he also wants to remove the excise tax on diesel citing the sensitivity of basic commodities prices to the price of diesel fuel. — Osmeña campaign

SERGE OSMEñA
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