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PIA Press Release

Gov't adopts measures to avoid rice supply disruption

by Rose B Palacio

Davao City (23 July) -- To avoid disruption of the supply of rice, the Arroyo administration has adopted three fundamental responses such as: First - ensuring adequate supply by reaching out to its ASEAN neighbors who happens to be big rice-exporting countries.

Under the heading of adequate supply, the government is investing heavily on rice production efficiencies, such as agricultural training and extension, and the shift to hybrid rice seeds.

Second - the government ensures the distribution of rice to people who really need the staple food "most effectively and cost-effectively"; and

Third - the President has ordered maximum vigilance in the sustained vigilance of government's rice stock to avoid hoarding and the diversion of the cereal to commercial market.

While the high price of oil is beyond the control of any government, the administration has reduced the tariff on imported oil as part of an overall effort to moderate drastic increases in the price of commodities, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said.

The government is working hard to make sure that our country's food supplies remain stable and we put food on the table, the President said.

To date, we have been able to keep the situation from becoming a crisis through shift interventions to ensure the supply of rice, effective distribution and enforcement of laws against hoarding, the President said.

The President also ordered the Agriculture department to help farmers restore their farmlands, especially for those heavily affected by the recent Typhoon Frank" through the provision of good quality rice seeds and monetization for fertilizers through the internal revenue allotment from 2001-2004 arrears of local government units, which she ordered released.

Fertilizers are expensive so we have to subsidize, the President said. (PIA) [top]

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