Vil­lar pushes bill on rice com­pet­i­tive­ness fund

Manila Bulletin - - Views • Features | Mindanao News - By AR­MANDO B. FENEQUITO JR.

DAVAO CITY – Sen­a­tor Cyn­thia Vil­lar vowed to has­ten the cre­ation of the rice com­pet­i­tive­ness fund bill for the farm­ers who will be af­fected by Pres­i­dent Duterte's or­der to lib­er­al­ize rice im­por­ta­tion in the coun­try.

In an in­ter­view dur­ing the In­ter­na­tional Ba­nana Congress at SMX Con­ven­tion Cen­ter here, Vi­lar said she will be push­ing for the R10 bil­lion rice com­pet­i­tive­ness fund to help the farm­ers im­prove their pro­duc­tion.

She said R5 bil­lion of the fund will be for mech­a­niza­tion, R3 bil­lion for seedlings de­vel­op­ment that could pro­duce six met­ric tons per hectare in­stead of present four, R1 bil­lion for their train­ing on the use of the pro­duc­tion ma­chines and an­other P1 bil­lion for credit.

"Kaya tayo hindi com­pet­i­tive kasi ma­hal ang la­bor cost natin (The rea­son why we are not com­pet­i­tive is be­cause our la­bor cost is high) and when you're la­bor cost is high you have to mech­a­nize," she said.

Vil­lar said this could also en­cour­age young peo­ple to ven­ture into rice farm­ing be­cause it will now be easy with the use of mod­ern equip­ment un­like the man­ual mode of farm­ing.

"We will teach them to mech­a­nize so that it will be easy for them to pro­duce af­ford­able rice," she said.

She said the bill should be passed as soon as pos­si­ble to help the farm­ers im­prove their rice pro­duc­tion.

Vil­lar said the coun­try's quan­ti­ta­tive re­stric­tion of rice has al­ready ex­pired in 2017 and right now any­one can im­port rice as long as they could pay the tar­iff.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.