Rice subsidies hurt poor

Joint study says program ate up2.5% of GDP

The Philippine government’s mammoth rice-subsidy program hurts the poor people it is supposed to be helping, according to a joint study published Thursday.

The report called for reforms to the program, which ate up 2.5 percent of the 2008 gross domestic product (GDP) and turned the monopoly rice importer National Food Authority (NFA) into the largest loss-making state firm. GDP is the total value of all goods and services produced in the country in a year.

The authority has a mandate to provide low prices of the cereal, provide price support to rice farmers and smooth out price swings mainly by the “untargeted transfer of cheap, mostly imported rice to households” of the world’s biggest rice-importing nation.[Continue Reading....]

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