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Rice farmers doing better under Marcos; Salceda shows proof

05 July 2023

Filipino rice farmers have been getting a "better deal" for their palay (unhusked rice) ever since President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. took over as Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary.

This was the claim of Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda, as he shared farm gate price levels of palay for the past year under the Marcos administration.

"Ever since he took over as DA secretary, farmgate price for palay per kg (kilogram) has increased from P17.24 kg in May 2022 to P19.06 in May 2023, a 10.6 percent increase, even when retail prices increased only by 3.6 percent over the same period," he said.

Salceda called this "one of PBBM’s (Marcos) most underreported achievements".

Farm gate prices are defined as the prices received by farmers for the sale of their crops, livestock, and poultry at the location of farm. The higher these prices, the more they get paid for their produce.

"This indicates means that farmers are getting a better deal for their produce. This is also the opposite of what was observed during the initial months of rice tariffication, when farm gate prices declined faster than retail prices did," said Salceda, an economist.

"So, there are signs that the rice cartel is being diminished if not demolished under PBBM as DA secretary," he further said.

Rice is the staple food of Filipinos.

"Moving forward", Salceda added, "The main focus must be on sustaining agricultural production amid threats of El Niño."

"I have discussed my ideas with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on this, and I will continue to work with the agencies to help them with what they need from Congress," he said.

Marcos took on the portfolio of agriculture chief shortly after the May 9, 2022 presidential race, which he won to the tune of 31 million votes.

Source: Manila Bulletin