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PBBM expresses gratitude to India for Rice Import Agreement

President Bongbong Marcos conveyed his gratitude for India’s agreement to import over 295,000 metric tons of rice to the Philippines during the visit of the Indian delegation to the Malacañang Palace on March 26, 2024.

“I’d like to thank you and please extend my gratitude to your Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) for the timely provision of imported rice that we bought from India. The very critical… a very crucial time since we are in the right now suffering the effects [of] drought.”, as stated by President Marcos during the courtesy call of India’s Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

The minister was overjoyed and expressed hopes that the rice import agreement would further strengthen trade between India and the Philippines.

President Marcos also gladly accepted the minister’s invitation for a state visit to India.

Meanwhile, rice is one of the staple foods of millions in the country. But, given the high cost of living, some Filipinos are obliged to tighten their food budgets.

“500 [pesos]. Minsan meron minsan wala. Bigas lang tsaka ulam kulang pa eh. Eh apat pa kami di wala rin. Tatlong kainan pa yan.”, as said by Jack Julio, a Filipino citizen, when asked about their family’s food budget.

[“500 pesos. Sometimes we have it, sometimes we don’t. It’s barely enough for rice and a dish, and with four of us, it’s still not enough. That’s also for three meals.”]

Hence, the rice import agreement is one solution to ensuring food security during these times.

Aside from rice importation, President Marcos is also focusing on developing the agriculture sector, such as constructing additional infrastructure and improving physical and digital supply chains.

 

~Bonomar Apuyod Jr.~

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