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Duterte orders DA chief to suspend rice importation: It’s harvest time

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday evening ordered the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar to suspend the importation of rice.

“Yes, because it is harvest time,” Duterte said in a news briefing held in Malacañang.

The Chief Executive reiterated his call for the government to purchase local rice to help farmers recover from income losses due to the rice tariffication law.

“Kung gusto natin wala problema, bilihin lahat ng produce ng farmers. Gagastos tayo bilyon, bilhin natin. Tapos. Palugi tayo para yung mga farmers may resulta sa pawis nila. Sino ang nalugi wala, tayong Pilipino. Bilhin natin yan,” he said.

On February 14, 2019, Duterte signed Republic Act 11203 lifting import limits on rice and allowing more competitors to enter the rice market and providing affordable rice prices for consumers.

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