Inside out

Random musings in and outside the news

Militants storm DA, NFA vs pullout of NFA rice in markets

Posted by Abi Kwok on September 10, 2008

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 10:26:00 09/10/2008

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Militant groups stormed the Department of Agriculture and the National Food Authority offices in Quezon City early Wednesday to protest the pullout of the P18.25 a kilo government subsidized rice from commercial markets.

Groups Bayan (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, New Patriotic Alliance), KMP (Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Peasant Movement of the Philippines), and Pamalakaya (Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas, National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organizations in the Philippines) braved heavy rains and led less than a hundred protesters from the DA to the NFA to call on the government to allow everyone access to the P18.25 NFA rice, said Gerry Corpuz, Pamalakaya public information officer.

At present, only those with family access cards issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development can purchase the lower-priced NFA rice.

KMP spokesman Antonio Flores said the government’s pullout of NFA rice has “narrowed the supply of lower-priced rice away from the poor.”

“The NFA is establishing another barrier to purchasing the P18.25 per kilo of NFA rice through the access card issued by the DSWD to its own version of poor,” he added.

Flores claimed that many consumers were unaware of the issuance of access cards and the pullout of the P18.25 per kilo rice and thought that the government increased the prices of NFA rice from P18.25 to P25.

The NFA replaced the P18.25 NFA rice in commercial markets with the P25 NFA commercial rice.

“The government is really pushing through its murderous design of starving the Filipino people, showing the real state of the country’s rice industry, which is in serious crisis and no patch-up solution like importation would be able to resolve it,” Flores said.

Pamalakaya chairman Fernando Hicap said that more than 72 million Filipinos should have been given the family access cards, instead of just the more than 350,000 families.

“If that is the case, more than 71 million Filipinos are outrightly denied by NFA to avail cheap rice,” he added.


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