Alyanna Chargaile E. Bunayog

Agricultural group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) lauded President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision on September 26 to decline a proposal to reduce tariffs on imported rice, stating that it would safeguard local farmers and provide price stability. 

Photo Courtesy of Rappler/GMA News/Reuters

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s The Final Word, Rosendo So, the chairman and president of SINAG, expressed his satisfaction with Pres. Marcos’ decision. 

“Of course, very happy tayo doon sa desisyon ng ating pangulo. Alam naman natin na kaya siya ang concurrent agriculture secretary dahil mas may laban tayo ngayon kasi dati ang nangyayari is kung ano ang sinasabi ng economic team yun ang sinusundan kaagad," So expressed.

Following the decision to reject the rice tariff cut, So laid out the subsequent actions that the government should take, emphasizing the urgency of immediate planting to guarantee a stable crop supply.

"Ang kailangang gawin ng ating government is magtanim kaagad, yung mga nag-ani na, dapat tamnan ulit. Last time remember sinasabi na July ay may El Niño na tapos minove nila ng October yung El Niño," the chairman explained.

So also mentioned that the rice price cap could potentially be lifted in October when the price is predicted to fall below ₱45 per kilogram.

“Sa ngayon may nagdedeliver na sa Metro Manila ng ₱40 na milled rice. Ibig sabihin, yung outlet pwede itong ibenta ng ₱44… We think na towards the end of the month may  tsana na pwedeng i-lift na yung cap,” he remarked.

Moreover, So expressed his hope that the government would offer help to rice farmers to ease their concerns, especially those worried over a decline in selling prices, in the form of subsidies and relief, including a planned ₱5,000 per hectare assistance to farmers.

The proposed rice tariff cut was initially met with strong opposition from agricultural groups, primarily due to concerns that it would potentially reduce the cost of rice production and was perceived as favoring imports over local producers.

Edited by Khezyll Galvan


Alyanna Chargaile Encabo Bunayog is a Grade 12 STEM student from Kidapawan City National High School in Region 12. She was the former news editor and the current Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of The Frontline – The Official English Student Publication of Kidapawan City National High School.