The leadership of the House of Representatives on Sunday reiterated its commitment to combating rice hoarders and smugglers as farmers achieved a historic milestone of producing 20.06 million metric tons (MMT) of rice in 2023.
Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, in a statement, expressed his deep admiration for Filipino farmers, saying their accomplishments are seen as a significant contribution to addressing the country’s rice shortage.
Romualdez reiterated that the House “is firmly committed to ensuring a consistent, stable, and affordable supply of essential commodities for Filipinos.”
“We will exercise the chamber’s mandate to safeguard the interests of farmers and the public to the fullest extent possible,” he said.
Earlier, the Palace lauded the Filipino farmers for their hard work and perseverance after the Philippines registered a record-high production volume of 20.06 MMT of palay in 2023, which is 1.5 percent higher than the 19.76 MMT produced in 2022.
Romualdez said this exceptional rice production significantly contributed to raising the combined value of the agriculture and fisheries sectors to P1.763 trillion in 2023, exceeding the P1.757 trillion recorded in 2022.
“This exceptional achievement by our hardworking farmers is truly deserving of praise. They are undeniably the cornerstone and solution to our nation’s rice scarcity,” he said.
“This historic rice harvest signifies a glimmer of hope for resolving the rice shortage predicament we faced in the past year.”
Earlier, President Marcos assured Filipino farmers of the government’s support to ensure the development of Philippine agriculture amid the challenges brought about by both man-made and natural disasters, including the El Niño phenomenon.
Marcos underscored that some parts of the Philippines are now experiencing the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, which is expected to last until June this year amid all the developments in the agriculture sector.
He said his administration has already laid out several programs to mitigate the effects of the El Niño phenomenon and to support the affected farmers to ensure that their harvest will not be affected.