President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. campaign promise to bring down to P20 per kilo the price of rice is hard to attain at the moment due to the lack of budgetary support to the agriculture sector, according to outgoing Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.

“Given the whole setup mahihirapan…Sila na mismo ang nagsasabi na hindi pa kaya sa ngayon because if you wanna bring down the price of rice to P20 then you have to bring down the cost of production of rice,” Pangilinan said in an interview with ANC.

Last week, incoming Agrarian Reform secretary Conrado Estrella III said the P20 per kilogram promise is hard to achieve during this time because of the high cost of fuel and fertilizers. 

Pangilinan explained that the cost of irrigation, transportation, among other things, should be managed if the government would push for the P20 per kilogram of rice.

“You have to address, what are the reasons why mataas ang production. Halimbawa, irrigation. Pangalawa, ‘yung wastage, transport, and of course, the quality of seeds… So it’s not as simple as bringing it down per se because you really have to increase your budgetary support and increase the productivity of your farmers,” he said.

He stressed the need for more support to farmers through pesticides, fertilizers, access to the market, and milling, among others.

“Sa atin, doubling the agriculture budget with the end and view of improving production and incomes of our farmers and fisherfolk is the way to go,” he added.


Ronald Espartinez