During a recent agricultural machinery expo, Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol blamed Western Visayas rice dealers for the low buying price of rice.
“This is exploitation [and] I denounce it,” he stated. “This is oppression.”
In reference to the buying price of rice throughout the Western Visayas region, which ranges between P8 and P12 per kilogram, he said, “The prices here are so low.”
“Iloilo, in particular, is a rice granary,” he added.
The cabinet official said he plans to “liberate” farmers from traders by providing the former with access to capital and post-harvest equipment./WDJ