MANILA – The Malacañang belied reports that President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered for the suspension of the rice importation in the country.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement that there no order of such yet as of press time.
“As of this time there is no order to stop rice importation given the Secretary Dar of the Department of Agriculture per the latter,” Panelo said.
An exclusive report by GMA News said Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the suspension of rice importation to address the issues faced by local farmers resulting from the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law.
Duterte signed the Rice Tariffication Law on February that removed quantitative restrictions on rice importation, which stabilized rice supply and drove down prices.
In an interview on CNN Philippines’ The Source, Agriculture spokesperson Noel Reyes, however, said the agency has yet to receive an order from Malacañang to suspend rice importation.
Recently, the Philippines surpassed China as the biggest rice importer in the world after it imported 3 million metric tons of rice in 2019./PN