Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said the Department of Agriculture, particularly the Bureau of Plant Industry, will tighten its phytosanitary standards to limit the entry of rice.
Mong Pintolo/File
Villar: Government to tighten rice import restrictions
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2019 - 12:00am

Manila, Phillipines — The government will tighten restrictions on rice importation to help stabilize local prices of the staple and protect farmers from cheap imports, Sen. Cynthia Villar said yesterday.

Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said the Department of Agriculture (DA), particularly the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), will tighten its phytosanitary standards to limit the entry of rice.

“We’ll tighten requirements, like the phytosanitary permits, so that we keep the imports to only 1.5 million metric tons, which is enough for our needs,” the senator said.

She said other countries resort to issuing phytosanitary restrictions to limit agricultural imports even in a liberalized regime.

She said imposing stricter phytosanitary standards will not violate the Rice Tariffication law, which the country had to enact in compliance with rules of the World Trade Organization.

Villar said for the past 24 years, rice importers have been used to lax rules and enforcement by the DA and the BPI that led to the flooding of imports that hurt farmers, whose produce are priced higher that the grains from abroad.

She recalled a personal experience of an importer seeking her intervention to have rice imports given phytosanitary permits when the grain was already in the country.

“That’s (securing permits after arrival) against the law. They (importers and traders) got used to the practice in the past when they abused (regulations),” Villar said.

She urged government agencies and local government units to procure rice from local farmers instead of buying those brought in by traders.          

CYNTHIA VILLAR PROTECT FARMERS RICE
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with