“Extend waiver on QR and no to NFA abolition.”
This is the stand of vice chairperson of National Sectoral Committee - Committee on Food Staples Romeo Royandoyan during the second leg of the cluster-wide consultation on rice QR on September 28, 2016 at Hotel Rembrandt, Quezon City.
Organized by the Department of Agriculture (DA), through Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), the series of cluster-wide consultations aimed to gather inputs from rice stakeholders all over the country to help the government on what policy option they may take in relation to the impending expiration of the waiver on the special treatment on rice in 2017.
The first option is securing another waiver while the second option is to tariffy.
According to Marlito Cabuños of Policy Research Service (PRS), if the second option is chosen, there are three more choices to be considered. First, tariffy based on the formula of tariff equivalent; second,tariffication plus upward adjustment of the tariff equivalent; lastly, tariffy and negotiate with ASEAN member states.
“Kung ako po ay kagaya nung kay Sec. Piñol na bigyan ng 2 taon pa para patunayan na kaya nating makipag-compete. Ang pwede nating gawin ay gumamit ng mechanization to improve yield.
PHILMECH ay nagtuturo kung paano gumamit ng rice transplanter,” a panelist from PHILMECH said.
The undertaking also primarily aims to discuss the possible consequences that may arise from the government’s policy choices.
“This is a critical event for us because as a developing country, we also need to counterbalance the advantages and disadvantages of the decision that we will pursue,” PCAF Officer-in-Charge Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona said on her opening message.
The discussions were also focused on different factors such as seeds, credit, irrigation, marketing, land conversion, crop insurance, funding, and subsidy on fertilizer.
Preceding the Luzon B cluster consultation is the Luzon A-wide which was held in Angeles City, Pampanga on September 22, 2016. The Visayas consultation will be held on October 5, 2016 at Iloilo City.