President Duterte to Unmask Rice Hoarders, Cartel

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METRO MANILA (July 24)– President Rodrigo R. Duterte has directed all intelligence agencies to unmask those behind the operation of rice hoarding and cartel which has led to artificial rice shortage and subsequently, the increase in its price.

He also warned rice hoarders, cartels and their protectors to disengage from their operators or face the full force of the law.  “Consider yourselves warned.  Mend your ways now or the full force of the State shall be brought to bear upon you,” Duterte added.

During his third State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) delivered before Congress,  Duterte underscored the need to switch to a tariff system where rice can be imported more freely.

The President has asked Congress to prioritize the Rice Tariffication Bill that will reduce the prices of rice by PhP7 pesos per kilo and lower the inflation rate.

Under the measure, the prescribed import volume would be removed and imports can eventually be opened to private traders.  Filed as House Bill 4904, its passage will remove the monopoly of rice importation from the National Food Authority.

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