|President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a press conference at the Malacañan Palace on September 4, 2019. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO|
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the National Food Authority (NFA), to buy all locally harvested palay to help Filipino farmers recover from low palay prices.
“In a democracy, officials are elected and their duty is to do for the greatest good for the greatest number. You have seen people going wild, others hungry because there is no rice,” President Duterte said in a press conference in Malacañang on Wednesday when asked about the government’s response on the complaints of the farmers.
“What the solution should be or will be for the Secretary of Agriculture to buy all.”
As the NFA engages in palay buying spree, farmers cannot demand a price, he said. “You arrive at a compromise of how much you are willing to lose a little bit. Huwag naman ‘yang paano. Medyo tapatan lang basta hindi malugi na ano ‘yung pagod nila but they are compensated.”
Local farmers blamed the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law, which they said impacted heavily on local palay prices.
But the President said the tariffication law was passed to serve the greater interest of the majority of the people. The government does not waste an industry and the President said his administration is “helping an industry.”
Farmers from Ilocos and Central Luzon regions complain about low palay prices as the price of the staple dipped from P21 to P7 per kilo.
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