AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol has rejected claims that his department is delaying the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11203, or the Rice Tariffication law, saying that consultations are currently under way in key rice growing areas to facilitate the drafting of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian suggested in a DZBB radio interview last week that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is resisting rice tariffication.
“Contrary to the claim of Senator Gatchalian, the DA is in fact facilitating the conduct of nationwide information campaign and consultations to explain to the rice industry stakeholders what the law is all about,” Mr. Piñol said in a social media post on Tuesday.
“The consultations will start in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija today (Tuesday) and will move to three other areas all over the country within the week “ Mr. Piñol added.
Last week, Mr. Gatchalian called on Mr. Piñol to cooperate in implementing the newly signed law which is about to take effect starting March 5. Mr. Gatchalian is one of the authors of the law.
“(Mr. Piñol) must work for the success of the law even if he is against it,” Mr. Gatchalian said in the interview.
Mr. Piñol said that consultations are part of the process of drafting the law’s IRR.
“These consultations are needed in the formulation of the IRR which are requirements before the Rice Tariffication Law can take effect,” Mr. Piñol said.
“To clearly state, the DA and I, a supporter and friend of President [Rodrigo R.] Duterte, support the law he has signed. It has to be implemented effectively and we in government must ensure that there are no problems encountered in its implementation,” Mr. Piñol added. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio