ILOCOS SUR—President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he wants to reach a compromise with local farmers amid the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law, which replaces rice import quotas with tax.
He said buying the rice produced by local farmers should be prioritized over importation.
“You can be sure that during your harvest no importation will be allowed. Ayaw ko. That’s what I said. Ubusin mo muna bilhin, kung mahal magpalugi na lang tayo kaysa magbili tayo,” Duterte said in a speech in Candon City, Ilocos Sur.
“Pagka mahal, bilhin mo na. Kaysa kung mag-NPA ‘yan mas malaki ang gastos natin. Buhay na pati bala. Common sense, bilhin mo. Bahala na malugi tayo,” he added.
The president also revealed why he decided to transfer Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to Mindanao Development Authority.
“He kept on saying that everything is all right. So the Filipinos became hungry. There’s no more rice. They were already fighting there. Di ko na lang... Ayaw ko na lang sabihin kung sino,” he said in Bisaya and Filipino.