Asian countries agreed on the creation of a regional rice pool that they can use in case of emergencies and severe rice price fluctuations in the global market, President Benigno S. Aquino III reported on Saturday.
The President, who arrived Saturday night at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City from his successful attendance at the 19th Association of South East Asian Nation Summit in Bali, Indonesia, said the creation of a rice reserve system in Asia is in response of the recent devastation by typhoons that resulted to massive flooding in Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines that severely affected rice production.
“Nariyan po ang mga kasunduan ukol sa agarang lingap para sa mga nasalanta ng sakuna,” the President said in his arrival speech. The president was referring to the agreements signed by the Asean member countries as well as their partners in the region.
“Nakikita po natin ang epekto ng bagyo sa Thailand at Cambodia ngayon, bagay na hindi rin bihira kung dumalaw sa atin. Dahil na rin po dito, napagkasunduan po ang isang sistema ng paluwagan sa bigas, na mapapakinabangan ng mga kasaping bansa, pati na rin po ng Tsina, Japan, at Korea, tuwing haharap sa hamon ng bagyong magpapababa ng ani,” he added.
The Chief Executive also mentioned the signing of the Bali Concord 3 by the Asean member countries explaining that it will pave the way for a clearer path that the regional block would take in the future that ensures political stability, better security, and stronger economic and socio-cultural cooperation among Asean members.
The Philippines also raised its advocacy for migrant workers’ rights, being one of the biggest exporter of human laborer in the region, the President said adding that the Philippines got overwhelming support from other members particularly Indonesia.
“Maganda rin po ang naging usapan ukol sa ugnayan at pagbubuklod ng mga ekonomiya sa Asean. Naniniwala po tayong magiging kalasag ang pagkakaisa laban sa mga problemang kinakaharap ng ibang mga rehiyon ng mundo sa ngayon,” he said.
The rice pool system is expected to boost efficiency, ensure timely delivery of the commodity, less market distortion and greater consistency with global trade rules.
Asian counties have proposed a reserve system that will address price fluctuations resulting from unusual market conditions, particularly during times of natural calamities like flooding or drought that result in an upsurge in rice prices.
Also, the reserve would be used as food aid during emergency situations and in the case of poverty alleviation projects needed by member countries.