Your Premier Source for Comprehensive Philippines News and Insights! We bring you the latest news, stories, and updates on a wide range of topics, including politics, culture, economy, and more. Stay tuned to know everything you wish about your favorite stars 24/7.


  • Owner: SNOWLAND s.r.o.
  • Registration certificate 06691200
  • 16200, Na okraji 381/41, Veleslavín, 162 00 Praha 6
  • Czech Republic

P20/kilo rice not yet possible, says DA chief

MANILA, Philippines — Achieving the “aspiration” for rice at P20 per kilo is not possible at this time, but the government will work on bringing down prices to affordable levels for consumers, newly installed Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said yesterday.

At a briefing, Laurel said lowering the retail price of rice to the level promised by President Marcos during the election campaign is challenging, given the uncertainties in the world market.

“The P20 per kilo was an aspiration. The problem [is] we are now at a 15-year high [in] world market [prices]. What was previously at $230 per ton in Vietnam, today it’s $700 per ton. Today, it is not possible,” he said, citing challenges that include climate change, El Niño and geopolitical tensions overseas.

“The problem around the world is so complicated. There’s climate change, El Niño is now here and it will continue until the middle of next year. Anything can happen. We don’t know when there will be another war in other places, and we don’t know if a ship will get stuck in the Suez Canal,” Laurel said.

However, the department chief did not discount the fact that lowering prices is still possible with the modernization of agriculture. “It is possible to lower the price. But we need to have our silos, we have to have buffer stock. And we have to change some laws, I believe,” Laurel said.

At a congressional budget hearing last August, DA officials admitted that the P20-per-kilo rice promise is not achievable in the next two years. They cited inadequate irrigation projects, conversion of rice lands into subdivisions and not enough market roads and equipment as challenges to meet the aspirational target.

Laurel has also refuted criticisms that his appointment will benefit his businesses and was a “payback” for his significant contribution to President Marcos’ campaign.

“Definitely there’s no payback. As I said, this is a sacrifice. This is for the country,” the newly appointed agriculture chief said at a press briefing yesterday.

Moreover, Laurel said his appointment would not cause any conflict of interest as he has divested from Frabelle Fishing Corp.

“Basically, I’ve already divested. I have no more