By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has rejected the appeal of local rice industry groups to veto some provisions of a bill imposing tariffs on rice in place of import restrictions.
The President is inclined the sign into law the rice tariffication bill despite the concerns raised by the rice stakeholders during a meeting in Malacañang last Wednesday, according to his spokesman Salvador Panelo.
“They wanted it vetoed but I don’t think the President will because his position is for the greater interest, for the greater good,” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.
He said the President listened to the concerns of the rice stakeholders about the impact of the rice tariffication bill but Duterte stood firm and defended the measure.
Some groups were reportedly concerned the bill would adversely affect the livelihood of farmers if there would be uninhibited rice importation.
“Sabi ni Presidente, ‘Pwede maapektuhan kayo but ‘yung kabuang Pilipino ang inaalala ko [The President, you may be affected but I’m concern about the interest of the entire Filipino nation’],” Panelo said.