Dominguez, citing data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila, said the average price of well-milled rice as of June 2019 settled at P42.92 per kilogram, while regular-milled rice price stood at P38.56 per kilogram.
Edd Gumban
Dominguez: No need to review rice tariff law
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - July 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — There is no need to review the Rice Tariffication Law, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday, as it noted that prices of rice have declined with the liberalization of rice imports.

Farmers and rice industry stakeholders earlier called on the government to look into the loopholes in Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Act.

However, when asked if there is a need to review the law, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez answered, “no.”

Dominguez, citing data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila, said the average price of well-milled rice as of June 2019 settled at P42.92 per kilogram, while regular-milled rice price stood at P38.56 per kilogram.

The latest price of well-milled rice was 13.4 percent lower than the P49.56 per kilogram recorded in September 2018 and by 4.81 percent from P45.09 per kilo recorded in January 2019.

The cost of regular-milled rice likewise dropped by 15.72 percent from the September 2018 level of P45.75 per kilo and by 6.88 percent from the January 2019 rate of P41.41 per kilo.

Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said rice farmers have raised their concerns as the unrestricted inflow of imported rice pushed down the farmgate price of local paddy rice to a record low of P12 per kilo from an average of P20 per kilo.

“In contrast, the market prices of rice, expected to drop by P7 per kilo with the Rice Tariffication Law, have remained almost constant with some areas reporting a drop of only P1 to P2 per kilo, even with the deluge of imported rice,” Pinol said in a post on his Facebook account.

To address this, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry and the National Economic and Development Authority agreed to set a suggested retail price on the staple.

The Rice Liberalization Act seeks to liberalize the importation of rice imports in the country by imposing tariffs in lieu of quantitative restrictions.

It also provides the creation of the RCEF, which is set at P10 billion annually for six years, for programs to boost the productivity and global competitiveness of Filipino rice farmers.

Dominguez earlier described the law as a “proud” accomplishment of the Duterte administration, given that it took more than 30 years for the Congress to approve this reform.

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE RICE TARIFFICATION LAW
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