P20-kilo rice? Villar says it's impossible, for now

A pro-administration senator has said that pricing rice at P20 per kilo is not possible--at least, not yet.

Senator Cynthia A. Villar, who retained her chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform Committee in the current 19th Congress, explained that the price of palay or unhusked rice of P11.50 a kilo would more than double to P30 a kilo after it is milled.

Villar’s Nacionalista Party (NP) supported the UniTeam of former Senator Ferdinand ‘’Bongbong’’ Marcos Jr. and then-Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

The lady senator explained that the price of milled rice is bumped up by transport cost, the earning of the farmer and the rice trader’s profit. With all these factored in, a kilo of rice would cost more than P30.

In the political campaign leading to the May 2022 national elections, Marcos said that his aspiration was to reduce the high cost of rice to just P20 a kilo.

Because of a feared food crisis, Villar asked her countrymen to plant vegetables so they could always have something to eat.

She pointed out that eating vegetables is all right because it is healthy.

In the Philippines, according to Villar, the focus is on rice although it is not competitive, price-wise, compared to other countries such as Vietnam where the price of a kilo of palay reaches only P6 a kilo.

To be able to reduce the cost of agricultural products as the world is facing costly fertilizers, Villar appealed to the government to teach farmers how to build their own fertilizer plots and give them composting machines.

Following calls for the repeal of the Rice Tarrification Law, Villar asked what portion of the law they want amended in order to liberalize rice importation.

If the aim is to limit the importation of rice, then it is best for the Department of Agriculture (DA) to refrain from issuing import permits, she pointed out.