News Release

PBBM meets with officials from DA, DTI, PITC; importation of cheaper fertilizers to be given free to farmers

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday met with officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) to discuss various measures that will pave the way for the entry of  cheaper fertilizers that will be given to farmers for free as subsidy in a bid to support farmers and lower the prices of food.

PITC President and Chief Executive Officer Emmie Liza Perez-Chiong said her agency plans to buy an initial 150,000 metric tons of fertilizer this year from China at USD 470 per MT from the current USD 650 per MT through a government-to-government arrangement.

A memorandum of agreement between PITC and DA is now being drafted as the MOA is a basic requirement for PITC importation plan.

Another requirement for PITC’s fertilizer importation is a sovereign guarantee from the government-owned LandBank for a PHP1 billion worth of credit line.

The President said he will sign the MOA between DA and PITC this week.

The chief executive, meanwhile, directed Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno to extend the sovereign guarantee to PITC’s credit line from the LandBank.

“I will also ask LandBank to allow DA to use its idle warehouses for the stockpiling of fertilizers,” Marcos said.

The PITC is the only state trading corporation in the country and has helped local businesses and agencies benefit from international trade since its establishment in 1973.

The DA has allotted PHP 4.1-B  subsidy to buy fertilizers to be given for free to farmers. With the much lowered cost, DA will be able to buy around 2.277 million bags of urea to be given to farmers through farmers’ groups and cooperatives.

The government plans to import around 300,000 MT of fertilizer to be used next year.

Aside from the PITC president and CEO, present during the meeting were DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban and DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual. (PND)