Senator Cynthia Villar said that it’s already too much for the farmers to ask for a 21 pesos per kilo of Palay.
During the Senate Hearing on Rice Tariffication Act Tuesday, Villar explained that the regular price of palay is 17 pesos per kilo and it only increased last year because of the bad weather.
Villar said that if the regular price of palay reached more than 17 pesos, it means that the country is not in a normal condition.
“The only time it was ₱21 was last year, wherein we were in a difficult period na nagmahal lahat ang rice, tapos kaya yung NFA, in-increase nila yung regular buying price nila from 17-20 to be able to compete with the traders,” Villar said.
According to Villar, a farmer needs a 12 pesos investment per kilo to plant and grow a palay and sell it to a regular price of 17 pesos per kilo.
“Kumikita na sila ng five pesos per kilo, I think 17 is really the regular of the regular price, it’s too much to ask na maging 21, 20,” she said.
Villar who also headed the senate committee on agriculture and food said that if the news reports that the price of palay in some provinces already reached 7-8 pesos per kilo.
Farmers blamed the rice tariffication act for the cheapening price of palay because the said law removed the limit of import rice to the country.
“Pwede ba pakisabi ninyo sa amin kung nasaan yung 8 at 7 pesos [per kilo] para kami na po ang bibili,” she said.
She also believed that palay prices became cheaper because of natural calamities.
Several weeks ago, netizens was saddened by circulating news on social media claiming that the rice of palay in several provinces, including Nueva Ecija already reached 8-7 pesos per kilo.
A representative from a farmer organization also claimed that in Arayat Pampanga, the palay already reached 6 pesos per kilo.
Because of the cheapening price of palay, several farmers had no choice but to enter a loan agreement.