By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Office of the Provincial Agriculturist is considering “mobile buying” as a means of purchasing rice across the province. Provincial agriculturist, Atty. Japhet Masculino, said they are finalizing the mechanics for buying palay from rice farmers in order to provide assistance amid the ongoing implementation of the “Rice Tariffication Law,” which has resulted in lower crop prices.
Masculino said the provincial government has allocated P5 million for the program and they may begin buying before the end of the month at P15 per kilogram. He also revealed the Provincial Board is expected to approve a supplemental budget intended for the purchases, which is quoted at P5 million plus an additional P1 million for operational expenses.
The provincial official said, under the law, a publication of 15 days is also required after the approval of the budget.
Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson reiterated, the provincial government will buy palay from farmers with fields measuring one hectare or less. He also explained, the P5 million fund was already included in the Annual Investment Plan, which was recently approved by the Provincial Development Council./DGB, WDJ