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Rice Shortage in the Philippines

As you see there have been speculations on possible rice shortage in the Philippines, what do you think is the 'liberal' solution to the problem? Inquirer heralds the end of the decade cheap food as price escalates on its 1 April 2008 edition. Is the solution greater cross-country interdependence on Rice supply, particularly on Asia, or should the Philippines pump more money on research and development for its agricultural producation? Where lies the root of the problem?

Posted by: Lawrence P. Villamar
Date posted: Apr 01,2008
Replied by: marry | Date replied: Nov 15,2011

i agree in that. but usually rice have chemicals which usually cause disease. rice should be safe for us

Replied by: bernadette san pascual | Date replied: Sep 30,2011

hey guys great day and good news!If there will be a rice shortage and a food crisis coming in our country... its an opportunity for all of us and for all the farmers to exercise our entrepreneurial mindset!...if that would be the case... I suggest we change the way we think and change or add in our crop with MALUNGGAY plant.for all you know there is a huge market and demand in the international market and also in local market. We, here in the bicol region started to harvest and share our advocacy to plant and guess what, we are now selling bi products of malunggay and it is really a profitable business. If you want to know more how to change your life through malunggay farming... please contact me. Your farming career will turn into a BONANZA. and we filipinos will nothing to fear when the price of rice increase...because if we start to plant malunggay now.... money will never be a problem anymore! WE WILL BUY YOUR HARVEST...Just start planting now!

contact me:

Replied by: Luanne | Date replied: Feb 28,2011

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Replied by: karissa mae | Date replied: Aug 14,2010

guys let's face the reality that filipinos are just to selfish. we are so interested of something that others need more! there's no shortage it's just speculations and intrigues made by our own , lands and fertilizers are all ok and rice is almost eenough for filipinos....

karissa mae bacalso paradeza
palauig, zambales
14 years of age



Replied by: dirty sanchez | Date replied: Jun 10,2010

I dont think we have problem with rice shortage, i just visited philippines couple of month's ago and visited my parent's root land in Bicol they have 14 hectars of rice field, I think the only problem with rice is the cartel, theres a big commissary where all farmer bring their rice,and there's a rumor that theres a buyer from other country which he pays a money that has a higher value than peso, in this kind of situation government need to make an action to stop these greedy people who only think's about money, we should educate all our farmer about marketing their own product's just like what we have here in canada all farmer's bring their product straight to the community wholesale.

Replied by: Makko | Date replied: Jan 14,2010

In my opinion about that rice shortage problem is because our population instead of having enough lands to have many harvested rice, they make subdivisions that's why rice shortage came to us. Then others blame God why did He do this to us! No they're wrong. The government shall have any solutions for this problem.

Makko Villanueva 13 year-old boy who loves debate hehehe.

Replied by: James comon_06 | Date replied: Jul 12,2009

i think our goverment are ignorant,,..they don't know how to use clearly our resources..
the population is not a big problem, the problem is poverty.

Replied by: .grace, | Date replied: Feb 15,2009

..there will be no rice shortage and crisis in our country if we just know how to use our resources properly and if we will have the courage to help each other.,masyado kasi tayong maksarili..

Replied by: Percy | Date replied: Jan 07,2009

there is no food crisis in the country, only one thing is present, money shortage...If all the Filipinos know the word sharing...

Replied by: Leila | Date replied: Dec 31,2008

The Philippines is a very rich country.The only problem is some filipinos are selfish. If only everyone can learn how to share then the riches of our country will be equally distributed to every filipino family.

Replied by: JerPao Rodriguez-Platengca | Date replied: Dec 22,2008

There is, not only rice, but food shortage. we are just blind when we are got full-stomached. but we are aware that our neighbors are either malnourished or not fully-fed in three-times-a-day 'nutritious" basis. We can do something by sustainable agro-forestry, reversing the water pollution into water-purified river networks, backyard agriculture, and carbon-reduction emission. whatever complex strategies in addressing our environment, we have to join hands to resolve our food shortage in our country.

Replied by: marnes guarin | Date replied: Nov 18,2008

there is no food shortage in the philippines.............

Replied by: MC Madeja,,16 (youth-in-the-go!) | Date replied: Oct 07,2008

I have personally interviewed a farmer in Bay, Laguna, and he claimed that there is no rice shortage whatsoever...

Replied by: MC Madeja | Date replied: Oct 07,2008

I'm calling out to all the youths of today. Let us not be apathetic. We are part of this nation,therefore the issues that our nation is facing nowadays are our concern also. Let us find out what we can do to help save this country from totally sinking.

Replied by: angela bodino | Date replied: Sep 16,2008

guyss...there are three bodies which should be blamed for this and that issue...what else...the government, the government and finally the government..let's just keep in mind, politics or just being in the government is business...just wonder why is it so hard to contemplate why they have to import rice when we can have our own rice riches.So, the government is just the agent here agent which has to be paid...just from the fertilizer scam, i know this will happen.

Replied by: Lori S. | Date replied: Sep 10,2008

and another thing, there is an abundant supply of rice.. it's just that the buying people cannot afford to buy it.. gets?

Replied by: Lori S. | Date replied: Sep 10,2008

know what? i think the correct term is 'rice distribution crisis.' ask the farmers if there is really a rice crisis and they'll tell you that they can't feel it..

the problem lies with the government.. Officials keep on importing rice instead of supporting our country's farmers.. and there lies the problem.. since they can get no support, everything they spend comes from them.. and of course, upon marketing, the price will be higher..

Replied by: lenie | Date replied: Sep 02,2008

Yes'I agree that thiere is a rice shortage, but not far as big what the governments said before, the politician are now appliying stratigies that "strike the iron while its hot", people in Phil. know that we suffered such calamities, and these calamities bring us a little bit of rice shortage and others planting,so that politician is like a "fox" my family is a farmers and we experience calamities every year, but not big as these year, yes we suffered poverty, failure about our plant and rice, but we usually find ways how to solve these, so that if we experience rice shortage these day, maybe sooner or later, thier is no rice shortage,
filipinos' have different ways to end these things.

Replied by: maE ANN Bello? | Date replied: Aug 21,2008

guYs...... bE IN REaliTY,,,, BE IN WHat you think,,, iF yOu think yoUr juST NOt part of thiS ISSUe... theN GO ON Suit for yourself... but please!!! for others who have been hungering for rice... you know the problem so pls!! let your voice out... we are facing this feaking rice shortage... i am just 13 years old in age from this country... the phil,. and so you should be aware... you know what to happen if you dont lessen up and make self-solutions in this probelem..

-mae ann bello
-cotabato city, CCNHS-

Replied by: ruth | Date replied: Jul 30,2008

there is no rice shortage if there is no rice hoarding, because Philippine is an agricultural country.

Replied by: angel | Date replied: Jul 27,2008

yes there is. the government should give lands and farms to the farmers for them to increase the production of rice. one thing more, the calamities also destroy crops that should be harvested.

Replied by: rommel | Date replied: Jul 25,2008

rice crisis? i see rice at stores and they are always there. i think the problem is not rice but price. you got money, you got rice. that long line for NFA rice is an indicator of people's need for cheaply priced rice. but as I've said, there's always rice in the market.

Replied by: Michael Leo T. Manjares | Date replied: Jul 22,2008

Rice Shortage in the Philippines? No way..... As far as I know, our country is an agricultural one... and as I reminisce the past... we have no issue on rice.....some of the citizen might have hoard the rice...

Replied by: Maxine Galapon | Date replied: Jul 18,2008

I'm turning 16 and my teacher's asking me to work on an editorial for the school paper concerning this issue. This whole thing is just a drama. The government is now in control of us. I just don't know what happens in the next ten years...

Replied by: christalyn | Date replied: Jul 16,2008

... the government is just simply covering the issue about th NBN ZTE Deal.. think about this.. How could an agricultural country like Philippine have a rice shortage??? madaming pwedeng taniman ng bigas... ginagawa lang nilang tayuan ng building..bakit? nakakapagproduce ba ng bigas ang building? di naman di ba?

A comment from me a 16 year old citizen

Replied by: james | Date replied: Jul 14,2008

Well, whose to blame about this universal problem of ours...Of course our leaders and our business operators....

Replied by: raffy | Date replied: Jun 29,2008

talaga yatang walang paki ang goberno,marami nang tao ang dikomakain dahil sa mahal na ang presyo ng bigas,at nong bomaha e marami pang nasayang na sako-sakong bigas

Replied by: raffy | Date replied: Jun 29,2008

theres a lot of place her in the philippines that we can plant rice,

Replied by: vincent mateo akut | Date replied: Jun 29,2008

sa akin lang obserba it can help exclusive control over rice sourcing and distribution in the whole country...........

Replied by: mus_gear | Date replied: Jun 26,2008

uhm...i just want to ask...what are the possible solutions that may be done in order to stop this crisis?

Replied by: angelica | Date replied: Jun 24,2008

wala namang rice shortage eh... ipinapalabas lang yan para mawala yung ZTE deal.........

Replied by: Kim | Date replied: Jun 21,2008

rice shortage in the Philippines is very ironic... I guess some of the government official is involve in this issue.. may be we can find some answers from them..

Replied by: glend"z | Date replied: Jun 18,2008

RIce shortage... are we really in this situation or pretending to be in this situation?? we have a lot of land area that can be use to produce rice and the government can help by means of subsidizing the farmers in planting rice.. some of the sellers are abusing this case they put higher price eventhough its not suit on the quality..
how can we escape in this situation if we just only complaining with out any action ...
God bless!!!!!!

Friedrich Naumann says... | Date replied: Jun 17,2008

The use of farm land is certainly one of the issues the country has to look into as it scrambles to find enough rice. This brings to the forefront the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which incidentally was not extended by Congress this year. In the 20 years of its existence, Filipino farmers continue to etch out a meager existence. Elites still own vast tracts of land. Only about 20 percent of the land earmarked for the program has been redistributed, and beneficiaries have often struggled to make a success of their newly acquired farms, especially when support services or crucial infrastructures were absent.

Nevertheless, the data provided by studies done by eminent economists such as Arsenio Balisacan or Cielito Habito show a clear picture: Land reform has worked. The lives of beneficiaries have been improved significantly, and the majority has managed to hold on to their land. While there were many shortcomings in the design and implementation of the program, overall it was a success. We should not confuse individual stories of failure, of which there are many, with the big picture. The program was not perfect. Failures did happen, and in significant numbers, but the bottom line was still clearly positive.

We thus do not agree with the suggestion posed by the CARP forum participant. His comment was cited by Mr. Villamar in his post on April 11, 2008. The participant suggested that the government follow the China model of land management where the state owns the land and leases it out. This will definitely not allow our farmers to prosper. Leasing the land is not the same as ownership. It does not provide an incentive for farmers to work efficiently as the fruits of their labor do not belong to them completely. In most cases, if not all, they would have to divide the profits between fellow lessees and the land management company, or in this leftist model, the state. Despite their hard work, they end up taking home so little. The land management company is the one who reaps the profits as it gets a share from each of the workers. Even assuming that profits were divided proportionally and fairly among the farmers and the management company, again as the participant was proposing, management will still earn the most as its profits are the accrual of shares from each farmer.

As tenants, the farmers are not also able to use the land as collateral for loans. They are also not able to either sell it or develop it into other uses. As lessees, they can only look towards a future of long hours in the sun with measly profits. This is also the legacy they will leave their children. That is if they are still tilling the land.

This is the biggest drawback to leasing. It does not provide security. Having a valid contract is not a guarantee that farmers will not be evicted from the land. Removal (often times forcibly) happens often in places where the implementation of the rule of law is weak or non-existent. This is the case in China. In fact violent removals have increased these past years as it prepares for the Olympics. Thousands of homes were destroyed, in some cases, whole villages. Hundreds of people were injured and many died defending the land they have lived on for several generations. This is the sad reality when the state owns the land, and no one has property rights.

Chinese farmers do not like this. Many are fighting and dying for their tenuous hold on the land they have cultivated for generations. This is because they realize the importance of land ownership. Not only for the livelihood it brings but for the dignity it gives. Read more on ?China?s Fighting Farmers? here:

Property rights are the first step to wealth creation because it allows access to capital. Western Europe is where it is today because it first allowed land ownership. Paired with a free market economy, a strong rule of law and minimal government intervention, a country can only but prosper. With prosperity comes a richer quality of life: higher income, life expectancy and environmental conditions. All of this is can be scientifically proven as shown in the Fraser Institute?s Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) annual reports.

The EFW report discusses the degree of economic freedom around the world based on a composite index. It shows that there is a strong correlation between economic freedom and important developmental objectives. For more information and a free copy of the Philippine edition of the EFW 2007 annual report, please visit: Alternatively, you may also download the report at:

The China example of state-owned land is clearly not the model the Philippines should follow. What China is doing is trying to undo the disaster that was collectivization without admitting outright failure. So they give farmers property rights by installments, like the state leasing land to farmers. Viewed over the long term, the trend in china is clear: there is an inexorable move towards private property rights, but one that is contingent on the politics of it all. To treat the current leasing system in China as a model for the Philippines ignores this clear trend.

To sum it up: Property rights are of premier importance. The Philippine experience with CARP has actually born this out. Unfortunately this is something that neither the landlord interests nor the far left wants to acknowledge, each for their own reasons. With CARP up for review this year, we should be clear about its achievements and work at finding a better way to give Filipinos their own land.

Replied by: Marawi City Lanao del Sur | Date replied: May 22,2008

We can do nothing, only the government can solve this problem.

Replied by: jhana | Date replied: May 07,2008

It is really ironical that the Philippines, an agricultural country endowed with so many natural resources is now the biggest importer of rice, and maybe not only rice but other agricultural commodities as well. The government's neglect is seeping into each Filipinos' stomach. GMA's administration simply solves the problem with more importation, begging other countries like Thailand to export more rice. But importation means additional loans for government to be able to afford the needed supply. This dependency is like addiction. Instead of rehabilitating our own agriculture, our government prefers to rely instant-easy-short term solution. But we Filipinos should come-up with all forms of solutions to change this worsening situation. Wala ng iba kung di tayo na lang ang gagawa, sino pa? Kilos na.

Replied by: lawrence villamar | Date replied: May 04,2008

News bureau such as CNN and another one in Tokyo reported a frantic rice shortage in the Philippines. I do contend that this is an exaggeration and pure sensationalism. The shortage although it had provoked such a frenzy in opinion columns had not extended to be a violent scenario albeit a very difficult one. Such exaggeration from the media could provoke unwarranted bad publicity for the Philippines and could fuel speculation that contributes to rising price of rice.

Replied by: jessie | Date replied: Apr 29,2008

i am a BSBA Student from International Academy of Management and Economics. For me there is rice shortage going on here in the Philippines but not a heavy shortage like what other people especially politicians says. The government just using this essue to erase the political storm that they're suffering today!

People should minimise the number of rice they eat everyday and instead of consuming a lot of rice every meal, they must consumate other products that could be a possible substitute to rice. we should do this especially those people who are rich.


God bless you all!

Replied by: friendlyfire | Date replied: Apr 26,2008

Yes there ie a substantial rice shortage in the Philippines. I am an American married to a Filipino wife whom I think the world of because she is intelligent and tries to make life better for her fellow native Filipinos. We have a substantial amount of farmland in the Philippines which we have purchased over the past twenty years. The reason was for retirement considerations but also because we could afford it as it became available to us. This presents a problem to the average native Filipino. The reason: they simply never have enough money to purchase their own farmland. They must continously work for those who own land. In doing this, it is almost assured that they never will have any money and will always live at sub poverty levels. It is grossly unfair to them. Also,for those who do own land, they remain so marginal in planting and profiting from their crops that they can never reach a point allowng investment. When a storm or bad season affects them; they are subject to a dilema that forces them to 'pawn' their land. when they do this, naturally they have lost the means of obtaining the revenue to regain it. It is a vicious cycle for them. My wife and I have several pieces of 'pawned'property but the difference is; we work with the owner to help them through their dilema and regain their property. Another thing that seriously affects them is having to borrow money for seed and fertilizer, etc. This must be paid back out of their crop sale first at a rate of 200% plus a portion of their crop. That is beyond astronomical and borders upon criminal activity. it is definitely immoral but that is the standard imposed upon them through decades of political failures. It is my most conceived opinion that the government could definitely do far more for their citizens and it would benefit them immensely to do so. Every successful civilized population owes its success to its people. If the government would do several things beyond being corrupt; they would succeed and prosper and their people would rise out of poverty and raise the government far beyond its present status. Education; Transportation: and Communication are the greatest keys to that success! The Philippines has poor transpotrtation. They are gaining some on communications but not fast enough. Their educational system could be much better if the children had free access and improved education. Also, the Philippines is a very strong religeous culture. That is great! Nothing wrong with that BUT; separate religeon on its own basis from essential education and remove it from politics. This does not mean remove it from the mind or its influence over its people. Let it work effectively in perspective so the people can benefit themselves and their country. Japan is the greatest example of this that comes to mind as is Taiwan(China).They have little natural resources of their own but are amongst the worlds recognized countries.
This has given reason for Philippne rice shortages; politics; lack of government assistance where needed(without corrupt officials); protection for the poor farmer who toils daily to make his crop substantial only to have it pirated from him at the market place. Co-ops could work but no one will allow it the oppoertunity to work. Modernization of farm implements would help immensely. A national agricultural crop experimental station exists but cannot effectively apply to the farmer what it has accomplished without strong implementation policies from the government(again without corruption). Being American; I NEVER go with my wife in close proximity when it comes to negotiating deals. If I did; it would immediately triple our price if buying or cut in half if selling...
We plant rice and we plant corn. The seasonal rains etc. dictate the crop that you plant. I have purchased and use modern farm equipment. Our land will produce one third greater than our native neighbor. Why? Because they cannot compete with technology. Philippine farms are capable of producing more!They are simply held back in their efforts by poverty and lack of technological advancements. IT IS NOT the farmers fault. I have never witnessed more dedicated and hardworking people in my life than the Filipino people; particularly the farmers. I am very proud to know them. They are more than willing and will give their last effort for their family and to help you. The government needs to shed the 'snakeskin' of corruption within; and get down to dilligently helping its own!! They can do it if they examine themselves and make the determination. As for myself and all other foriegn influence, particularly American; we need to help from the sidelines 'WITHOUT' exerting political influence. Let them make it happen and they can.If you sit by and give; people will take. If you come to help and do it effectively; they will work and prosper. There is no valid reason for a rice shortage in the Philippines!!

Replied by: Juan | Date replied: Apr 25,2008

Mr Naumann made a really good point on the said issue,also a proposed a sollution that works.Other countries are reaping the benefets from banking from itself rather than other countries.
I dont know a lot about politics and the way the government works, but is seems to me ,the answer is simple. working together rather than trying to bite each others head off in the political arena,would do wonders. Setting your eyes on Commodity than focusing energies on Currency would also help.
It just breaks my heart,seeing a supposedly agricultural country not being agriculturaly stable.

dont you think its weird that
--people scramble for a sollution only when in crisis.whereas sollution was readily available to prevent crisis to begin with.

Mr Naumann proposed a sollution, i only hope that the people in the right places dont give a blind eye to this.

Friedrich Naumann says... | Date replied: Apr 17,2008

It is not only a problem with rice. What we are looking at is a looming global food crisis. There are several factors contributing to these: crude oil prices remain over the $100 mark, driving up costs of production and transport; severe weather has affected crops of some key agricultural exporters like Australia; rising incomes in India and especially China have increased the demand for meat, and thus land is being used not to plant food but for cattle pastures and cattle feed. Last, but not least, environmental concerns have spurred many countries to subsidize biofuel production, which again diverted land use from growing cereals.

The threat with the most far-reaching consequences is probably the worldwide rush to convert food into fuel. With global warming and rising oil prices on top of everyone?s list, biofuel seems to be the answer. Vast tracks of land are now being transformed to grow grain for gas, while a portion of existing yields are being diverted into refineries. The future of farming could become to feed our cars and not ourselves.

Scientists, however, are realizing that biofuel might actually be more harmful for the environment, not to mention, how diverting crops is making world food prices skyrocket. We have already witnessed street protests in Mexico due to the rise in tortilla prices due to the huge demand for corn as biofuel. For more on this, read ?The Clean Energy Scam? at:

This rise in global food prices has also affected the supply of rice and other cereals. Several rice exporting countries have curtailed or banned rice exports in order to increase their domestic supply and keep their domestic prices lower than those of the world market. This has angered farmers, who are deprived of the opportunity to earn more. It has also encouraged smuggling. By lowering global rice supplies, it has also pushed world market prices much higher than necessary thus inducing panic.

This greatly affects the Philippines as it is one of the largest importers of rice. Despite the country?s high yields of rice, this is not enough to meet the demands of its growing population. Ninety million is our estimated population for 2008. It simply does not have enough land. The Philippines is not a made up of deltas and plains suitable for massive rice farming compared to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Productivity has also not gone up much in recent years. The money spent by government on agriculture seems to have had very little impact, and the land reform program has caused uncertainty and perverse incentives because landowners try to get agricultural land reclassified.

What then can the Philippines do? It is complex because it is a worldwide food problem. Any policy response should have three major objectives:

  1. Get subsidized rice to the most needy in an efficient manner

  2. Dampen the price rise of commercial rice to avoid too strong an incentive to divert National Food Authority (NFA) rice to the open market

  3. Make rice farming more profitable to encourage increased production

To ensure that the poor have sufficient rice, organizations with a proven track record should be enlisted to help distribute subsidized NFA rice. A promising start has been made with the help of the Catholic Church, but other religious organizations can be enlisted as well.

Moreover, the government could start a national food-for-work program for the poor. This will be effective because it is self-targeting. Poor people would be engaged in public works organized by Local Government Units (LGUs) and would be paid with rice supplied by the NFA. A non-political committee of respected experts could decide which LGU projects are the most feasible to avoid favoritism and corruption. This will not only involve the poor in the community but will also allow them dignity and the chance for self-reliance.

To keep a lid on price rises in the commercial markets, the government should remove the import tariff on rice. During a time of high world market prices, the rationale for tariff protection for the local farmers does not make sense. With world market prices above $700 a ton compared to $320 last year, farmers make a profit. After all, the old rice price including protective tariffs came out to less than $500!

Apart from removing the tariff, the government should also cut out the middlemen so that sellers can get their rice directly and cheaply to buyers. This means eliminating the NFA?s monopoly on rice imports and allowing traders to import rice freely. Why should the NFA have a monopoly on rice imports and resell these to the commercial markets? That?s only a recipe for diversion, smuggling and corruption. These all translate into additional costs for consumers.

Another factor pushing prices up are high transport costs. Here the government can break up the quasi-monopolies (shipping, ports and ?checkpoints? on highways) that hamper the transportation of goods throughout the country. It is cheaper to ship a container from Bangkok to Manila than it is to ship it from Manila to Cebu.

One other measure the government can do is to give more money to the International Rice Research Institute and other organizations with a track record in agricultural extension to work on new seed varieties and technologies especially geared towards varied terrain. This will not only help us but will also help the rest of the world.

These measures will not shield Filipino consumers from high international prices, but these would at least slash the additional costs that government and private monopolies have imposed on top of high global prices. Abolishing the tariffs on rice (at least while international prices stay above $500/ton) and allowing everybody to import freely, using any shipping line they like, domestic or foreign, would also put all the rice smugglers out of business.

The government instead believes in subsidizing Filipino farmers to plant more. However, these have produced questionable results. Subsidies often do not spur production. They only encourage dependency and reward mediocrity and inefficiency. Moreover, Philippine administrative efficiency is relatively low and political influence over the bureaucracy is extraordinarily high. These make subsidies vulnerable to capture by powerful interest groups.

Competition is what promotes productivity. What the government could do to encourage that (and this does not require much administrative efficiency) is to remove import tariffs on agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, power tillers, irrigation pumps and other farming equipment. Remove all barriers to trade in them as well. These would lower the cost of inputs significantly. It would make rice farming more profitable without raising the price of rice, and it would enable more farmers to buy inputs that raise productivity. It would thus provide two powerful incentives to boost production. Bangladesh did this in the late 80s with stunning results in terms of grain production being noticeable after less than a year.

The government also proposes a minimum wage increase. This is another counterproductive measure. Driving up minimum wage does not make higher food prices more affordable. It only makes it more expensive for small and medium businesses to operate. This could result in closures and unemployment. Not only that, it forces prices to balloon even more as the cost of production is translated into the final price of goods. Consumers will now be facing an even tougher burden: high food prices + high import taxes + high production costs. Jacking up minimum wage does not translate into more income. It?s like throwing gasoline into the fire.

The Philippine government has a poor track record when it comes to government spending; therefore, a solution that requires the government to forgo revenue is likely to be much more effective than one that requires it to actively spend money. The measures outlined above would be beneficial to consumers and farmers alike. In times of high world market prices, farmers will find it easy to compete on price, especially if the transport costs within the country are brought down to international levels by busting the monopolies. Free import of rice will therefore just ensure that the rice the country needs to import does not cost too much. The lowering of import tariffs on inputs combined with the high market prices will provide a huge gain to farmers who will be able to increase production substantially. Since the Philippines is one of the biggest rice importers, this production boost will help keep international prices in check. With the additional investment in agriculture and the removal of internal barriers to trade, the Filipino farmer will end up being even more competitive.

So why has this not yet happened? There are powerful interest groups that prefer to spend money rather than forgo revenue. The families controlling shipping and ports do not want competition to erode their profits. The NFA does not want to be shrunk into an agency that has to focus on getting rice to the poor, rather than controlling all food imports.

But make no mistake; this is a serious crisis, and one that seriously threatens political stability. That might be a compelling argument to take on the vested interests that currently create burdens for consumers and divert funds meant for farmers.
Replied by: Anonymous | Date replied: Apr 17,2008

It's hard 2 believe there's rice shortage, just look at the other replies, ok?

Replied by: jmc | Date replied: Apr 12,2008

Somehow all of the above comments are all somewhat true. First, Global warming is truly a human error that I believe most of us continously ignore what the true effect of this to human, Now it's a matter of survival. 2nd, It was expected when the corruption of fundings for agriculture came out into the open. Shortage or no shortage, it's all about money and greed and the poor people of our own country are the first ones who will feel the effect of greed from the rich and those in power. It's sad that our country has so much potential to improve the way of living of our fellowmen but thanks to corruption and power, the glimps of hope for the poor and the poorest may never happen. For the wealthy and powerful who's suppose to make the difference what is really in your heart?

Replied by: lawrence p. villamar | Date replied: Apr 11,2008

I recently joined PIDC 2008 where we had a forum on CARP, although it was abit bias toward land onwners i.e. the hacienderos, the speaker who was a layer for the a certain sugar producing group of companies argued that the reason, or part of the reason behind the rice shortage was CARP. He went on to say that there is not much incentive now to invest in agricultue becuase there is a limit to land ownership (i deduce that he's implying that profits could not be optimize because the agriculture business could not flourish into an economies of scale because of limited land-capital) he also extends to say that most beneficiaries of CARP with their 'little patch of land' are not productive because with the lack of access to capital (the land granted to them by the government are devalued by the inefficiency in collection of payment for it, and thus private banks do not want to step in to provide capital through loans; even the Land Bank he argues, does not want 'idle' lands, ones that are not farmed because they could not properly be valued in the bank's appreciating system)and the limited land they have, which thus prevents them to reach economies of scale. A debater/ partcipant of the forum suggested to follow the China model where government owns the land(thus avoiding aggravating any party ) then leasing it to corporations who could farm it in the most profitable manner and dividing profit proportianately between the capitalist corporation and the workers. Do you agree?

Replied by: Raissah Rocima | Date replied: Apr 11,2008

I am so freakin' tired of this ice shortage issue. Every time I open the screen or read the paper there's no other topic I see but THIS RICE SHORTAGE! Can you please stop!!!! Please!!!!!!! I know that rice is politically sensitive commodity in this country but please.. Don't ohVuhKill the issue!!! Ok.. my point is that we do not really know for a fact that there is really rice shortage!No one has proven that yet! They all talk about it because of the sky rocketing prices and you know what? Business minded people; small or big, are grabbing the opportunity that you give them. C'mon guys! If ever there will be rice shortage I think, Pinoys as we are, can find solutions for this shortage.

Replied by: ayame | Date replied: Apr 09,2008

i believe the common matters we see in this rice problem are particularly because we can all perceive how massive is the increase of our population, therefore there is an increase of rice eaters but it is also evident that our country does not possess enough land to sustain rice production and also much of the land devoted for rice are rather changed to banana plantation thus weakening rice industry by production in process and results... our government supports hybrid rice production but this problem regarding rice shortage only showed that the govt. 'strategy is failing. Many of our locals support the organic rice production that has shown success over these years. Despite the success the supporters of organic rice production still lament because they lack support from the state. If the state can consider this organic rice production it might be a great help to sustain rice and local production of rice. I beliece more on it's effectiveness than Mr. Yap's concerning the people to lessen rice wastage. It is good though but i believe it is only a short term solution.

Replied by: Oli | Date replied: Apr 09,2008

The problem is with Philippine government and rice company's would rather export the rice than feed their own people. ITS ABOUT MONEY. Why sell rice to your own country for $10 when you can export and make double or tripple the price. The company's profits are higher with euros and dollars than pesos! If the country is smart (take care of the their own people first) and then control rice like how Middle East control their oil.

Replied by: gwapa | Date replied: Apr 09,2008

There is no rice shortage in the Philippines. Since the Philippines is dependent already on Rice imports from Vietnam or Thailand, they set an alarm on shortage as other countries stopped exporting to the Phils. Peoples' brains were just washed and blinded by the fact that there is scarcity of Rice when behind these facts is that people and most business sectors are already hoarding and panic buying. The Phil is mainly an agricultural country, and an independent country right? so why bother importing from other countries and not focus on local produce? You think there are other reasons behind here politically?

Replied by: zandro | Date replied: Apr 08,2008

large area of land in the philippines use only in a single crop during rainy season and cannot be used on dry season or summer due to lack of water supply, dept of agriculture must develop and learn how the rice be planted and grow even in an upland or in an area with lack of water supply.

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