Lobregat supports Piñol initiative to allow Special Import Allocation of rice supply PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 13:45

by DEXTER YAP

Congressman Celso Lobregat is fully supporting the initiative of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol asking President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the issuance of a Special Import Allocation of some 132,000 metric tons of rice to sustain the needs of the Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (ZAMBASULTA) area until the rehabilitation of the rice industry of the entire region is stabilized.

This was the statement of Lobregat after his meeting with Piñol yesterday where they discussed all possible solutions to address the rice sustainability programs in Zamboanga City amidst the lessons learned in the current rice crisis here.

Lobregat said that he is favorable to Piñol's recommendation to materialize the establishment of a Rice Trading Center in either Tawi -Tawi or Sulu where imported rice could be directly brought in with the required tariffs, instead of allowing the proliferation of rice smuggling which killed the rice industry of the area.

The Zamboanga solon is also supporting the other recommendations of the Department of Agriculture (DA) like the proposed P100-million rice production loan portfolio under the PLEA Program of the DA-ACPC to finance rice farmers as well as the development of a 1,000-hectare rice demonstration area in the City of Zamboanga and the three island provinces to serve as a learning center for rice farmers.

Also,the establishment of Solar Powered Irrigation Systems and deployment of farm machinery and equipment in the islands to support the rice production program.

"These are laudable and very timely initiatives of the good Secretary, these could truly help us a lot in our rice sufficiency and food security programs," Lobregat stressed.

It can be recalled that the ZAMBASULTA regions, which have been largely dependent on smuggled rice from Vietnam via Malaysia, ran out of commercial rice supply a month ago when the rice smuggling operations were stopped by Malaysian and Filipino authorities.

Rice prices shot up to about P60 per kilo in Zamboanga City to as high as P80 in Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.

Prices are expected to stabilize in two weeks with the arrival of the fresh rice stocks.-Dexter YapCongressman Celso Lobregat is fully supporting the initiative of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol asking President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the issuance of a Special Import Allocation of some 132,000 metric tons of rice to sustain the needs of the Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (ZAMBASULTA) area until the rehabilitation of the rice industry of the entire region is stabilized.

This was the statement of Lobregat after his meeting with Piñol yesterday where they discussed all possible solutions to address the rice sustainability programs in Zamboanga City amidst the lessons learned in the current rice crisis here.

Lobregat said that he is favorable to Piñol's recommendation to materialize the establishment of a Rice Trading Center in either Tawi -Tawi or Sulu where imported rice could be directly brought in with the required tariffs, instead of allowing the proliferation of rice smuggling which killed the rice industry of the area.

The Zamboanga solon is also supporting the other recommendations of the Department of Agriculture (DA) like the proposed P100-million rice production loan portfolio under the PLEA Program of the DA-ACPC to finance rice farmers as well as the development of a 1,000-hectare rice demonstration area in the City of Zamboanga and the three island provinces to serve as a learning center for rice farmers.

Also,the establishment of Solar Powered Irrigation Systems and deployment of farm machinery and equipment in the islands to support the rice production program.

"These are laudable and very timely initiatives of the good Secretary, these could truly help us a lot in our rice sufficiency and food security programs," Lobregat stressed.

It can be recalled that the ZAMBASULTA regions, which have been largely dependent on smuggled rice from Vietnam via Malaysia, ran out of commercial rice supply a month ago when the rice smuggling operations were stopped by Malaysian and Filipino authorities.

Rice prices shot up to about P60 per kilo in Zamboanga City to as high as P80 in Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.

Prices are expected to stabilize in two weeks with the arrival of the fresh rice stocks.-Dexter Yap