Repeal Rice Traffication Law

Press Release
February 16, 2019
Reference: Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao

Manila, Philippines – A day after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Rice Tariffication Law, Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao vowed to file a bill for its repeal, after fifteen days upon its publication or the date it shall legally effect.

“I would like to save the government the effort of crafting its implementing rules and regulations, and will promptly file for the repeal,” he said in a press statement.

Casilao is a staunch opposition of the law at the house of representatives and pushed for an authentic rice industry development program to solve the chronic rice crisis in the country. He is the author of the House Bill No. 8512 Rice Industry Development Act (RIDA) bill and HB 555 Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB).

“I refuse to accept that Filipinos will rely on rice, coming from as far as 1,467 or 2,265 kilometers, to be freighted 907 or 1,418 nautical miles, which is totally contrary to food security,” the lawmaker referring to the Saigon and Laem Chabang ports, of Vietnam and Thailand, respectively, towards the port of Manila.

He also cited the law as contradictory to the principles of Philippine constitution, as rice which is considered as a political commodity, thus, reliance for its supply from other countries, essentially threatens sovereignty with vulnerability.

“Relying other countries for food is not food security, and will threaten improved quality life for all, the basic human right to food, a self-reliant and independent economy, comprehensive rural development, agrarian reform, and rights of farmers and farmworkers, all said in the constitution to be promoted and protected,” he said.

He said that the law is a tombstone for the Philippine rice industry, and will be buried to death, the livelihood and welfare of 2.4 million rice farmers and more farm workers, along with the threat of conversion to the 4 million hectares of agricultural lands.

“This will undermine the P350 billion – 19 million metric ton – palay sector. This is clearly betrayal of the people’s and national interest,” he warned.

He vowed that once farmers, farmworkers or even small traders are displaced in the local rice industry, the president will earn the fury of tens of millions of rice stakeholders, including the poor consumers.

“Hunger, poverty, death, will be the only legacies, are the poor to remember with this regime. Thus, we must resist the destructive impact of flooding of imported rice and demand the repeal of this law,” he ended. ###