Lifting rice import quota won’t bring down rice prices – Ibon

‘Why make the culprit the solution?’ think-tank asks gov’t

Malacañang’s decision to lift rice import quota will not bring down rice prices but will only hugely benefit rice traders and give them further control over prices and the distribution of rice, said independent think-tank IBON Foundation.

With greater access to rice imports, private traders stand to benefit from the removal of rice quota especially since local cartels have not been dismantled and continue to contribute to artificial shortages in the country.

Moreover, lifting the import quota will only strengthen the country’s dependence on rice imports.

“Importation has worsened the country’s rice crisis, and by importing more to address the current rice insecurity is an illogical solution,” said IBON executive editor Rosario Bella Guzman. “Why make the culprit the solution?”

Focusing on measures that will seriously improve local rice production and self-sufficiency remains the most sensible step in addressing the rice crisis. Recognizing that that the sector’s backward state and trade liberalization are the reasons behind the crisis will result in more substantial solutions other than importation, said Guzman. (Ibon)

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