Rep. Erico Aristotle â€œArisâ€ Aumentado (Bohol, 2ndÂ District) will commission agriculture experts to study how government can protect the Filipino farmers in light of the influx of tax-free rice due to the ASEAN integration.
Aumentado said unless help comes, local farmers will be disadvantaged because of high production cost. Besides, he added, they have not been given support and preparation for the integration eventuality.
The solon insists that fast action is needed to help the farmers, hence, the study. However, he said, the study results will only be recommendatory in nature.
He will use the results as basis to seek budgetary support to protect the interest of the country.
Aumentado said the farmers are the backbone of the economy. But they have not been given the attention, support and recognition as such.
â€œI put my foot where my mouth is. I will support the farmers, but I must have the accurate data to guide me in seeking alliances and support from funding agencies,â€ he said.
The study results will guide him in his effort to link up with government agencies to capacitate and prepare the farmers for the entry of tax-free rice from countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia. (By June S. Blanco)