rice
File photo shows different types of rice displayed on shelves.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Government generates P12.3 billion in 2019 from Rice Tariffication Law
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - January 10, 2020 - 5:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government managed to generate more than P12 billion in revenues from the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law in 2019, the Department of Finance reported Friday.

In February last year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law that lifted the more than two-decade-old cap on rice imports in a bid to bring down the local prices of the staple grain.

Under the law, individuals and businesses can import additional volumes of the crop from Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam but will have to pay tariffs.

In a statement, the DOF said the government collected P12.3 billion as of end-December 2019.

Tariffs collected from rice imports will go to the annual P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which will be used to finance the modernization of the agriculture sector and help farmers.

More funds for cash transfers

Some groups said the influx of cheap rice from abroad has been hurting Filipino farmers.

Government data shows prices of palay plunged 24.49% in the third quarter of 2019, as farmers were forced to sell their produce to traders at lower prices amid the presence of imported rice in the market.

According to the DOF, the excess of P10 billion from the RCEF funds gives the government more money to immediately provide unconditional cash grants of P5,000 to P600,000 for rice farmers affected by lower farmgate prices. 

The Philippines is still expecting an increase in local palay production for this year even as the country opened up its market to more rice importation.

AGRICULTURE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY RICE TARIFFICATION LAW
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