Press Release
September 18, 2018

Sen. Bam to gov't: Bilhin ang 'Storm Damaged Palay'

Sen. Bam Aquino urged President Duterte to order the National Food Authority (NFA) to purchase Storm-Damaged Palay (SDP) from farmers in areas devastated by Typhoon Ompong as a way to help them and the families get back on their feet.

"Sana po tugunan ng Pangulo ang hinaing ng mga magsasaka at kanilang mga pamilya," said Sen. Bam, referring to the farmers who have failed to harvest their crops before the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong.

"Utusan sana niya ang NFA na bilhin ang SDP. Tulungan natin ang mga kababayan nating magsasaka," added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam said the move will give farmers a chance to recoup their capital used for purchasing rice seeds, fertilizer and other inputs.

The senator said buying SDP is not new to the NFA since the agency has done it in the past. However, the price is dependent on the quality specification, such as moisture content, purity, discolored and damaged grains.

Sen. Bam said the government can use the President's Social Fund or the Calamity Fund, which are both under the Office of the President, to fund the initiative.

"Unahin sana ng administrasyon ang mga nasasagasaan at napipinsala. Masyado nang maraming Pilipino ang nalulunod sa mataas na presyo ng bilihin," Sen. Bam stressed.

Earlier, Sen. Bam also urged the government to work together to mitigate the effects of Typhoon Ompong on the prices of goods in affected areas.

As one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, Sen. Bam has been working to lessen the effects of the government's tax reform program in the prices of goods and services.

The senator filed Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo Bill to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

Sen. Bam stressed the need to enact his measure into law, saying it will stop the second round of increase in excise tax on petroleum products under the TRAIN Law in January 2019.

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