Contrary to the statement of South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. that news reports about then presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vowing to bring down the price of rice to P20 per kilo were “fake,” the latter did make such a promise during the campaign trail.
Tamayo issued the statement in a press conference during the Consolidated Rice Production and Mechanization Program Farmer’s Field Day and Harvest Festival in Surallah, South Cotabato on September 15, where he announced that the province has achieved a yield of eight tons of palay per hectare based on a sampling harvest method.
“Fake news iyan. Walang sinasabi 20 pesos. Nasa campaign ako at ang goal talaga na lumabas 25 pesos. Ganun yon, ina-exaggerate lang dahil 20, 21 to 29, kino-consider nilang 20. Ibig sabihin, baka 29 pwede.” (That’s fake news. There was no mention of 20 pesos. I was in the campaign and the goal really was 25 pesos. That’s it, it was just exaggerated because they considered 20, 21 to 29 as 20. It means, maybe 29 is possible.) These were the governor’s exact words based on the voice recording by MindaNews.
But Tamayo, president of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, the political party of the President, acknowledged in the same press conference that it is Marcos’ dream to bring down the price of rice to a level affordable to most Filipinos.
During the campaign period on 17 April 2022, the Facebook page of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas posted a statement, a portion of which reads:
“Tiniyak ni Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., na magkakaroon ng murang bigas na hanggang P20 kada kilo sa kanyang administrasyon matapos siyang manalo sa darating na halalan sa Mayo 9.” (Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. assured he would bring down the price of rice to as low as P20 per kilo under his administration after he wins the May 9 elections.)
“Ayon kay Marcos, isa sa pangunahing layunin niya ay magkaroon ng subsidiya ang presyo ng bigas sa loob ng isang taong panunungkulan nito sa Malakanyang.” (According to Marcos, one of his priorities is to give subsidy to the price of rice within a year of his stay in Malacañang.)
On August 1, the Presidential Communications Office issued a news release titled “P20 rice still feasible – DA.” It stated: “The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. remains hopeful that it will fulfill his campaign promise of lowering the price of rice to P20, despite the current rice productivity in the country, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).”
The same news release cited DA Undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla as telling reporters in a press briefing in Malacañang on the same day that the P20 per kilo of rice is still feasible once the country reaches its sufficient production of rice.
Marcos, also the concurrent Agriculture Secretary, had issued Executive Order 39 last August 31 imposing a price ceiling on rice ranging from P41 per kilo (regular milled) to P45 per kilo (well-milled), due to the soaring price of the commodity that breached the P50 per kilo level.
As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact-check stories.
MindaNews is a verified signatory to the Code of Principles of the International Fact-Checking Network. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno / MindaNews)