Groups hold protest against high price of rice in Quezon City market

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This article is available in Pilipino

Farmer and urban poor groups launched a protest at the Litex Public Market in Quezon City on June 18 to denounce the exorbitant prices of rice and other basic needs of the people. The action was held ahead on Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s 3rd year in power. The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Bantay Bigas and Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) participated in the protest.

Kadamay said the usual P55-P60 per kilo market price of rice is far from the regime’s promise of P20 per kilo rice. The increase in prices is unrestrained, despite the all-out liberalization of rice imports, which the regime says will lower prices.

Under the Rice Liberalization Law and other neoliberal policies, 3.2 million metric tons of imported rice poured into the country by 2023. This is equivalent to 4.9 million metric tons of rice that would have been a huge income for local farmers if purchased here.

“Had the government supported the farmers and boosted local production, it would have generated billions of pesos benefiting the farmers and the rural poor. Right now, the tariff reduction on imported rice being railroaded [in Congress] will further kill the local industry,” Zen Soriano, chairman of Amihan, said.

This year, up to 4.6 million metric tons of imported rice is expected to pour into the country.

“Since Marcos is an imperialist puppet, he preferred to stock on imported rice, destroy the livelihood of farmers, and the self-sufficiency and food security of the Filipino people,” Soriano added.

They assert that only by implementing genuine land reform, providing just production subsidies and adequate facilities for farmers can the food security of the Philippines be achieved.

AB: Groups hold protest against high price of rice in Quezon City market