Tariffication to help PH finds more sources of cheaper rice
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the immediate enactment into law of the rice tariffication bill is fundamental in the government’s efforts to stabilize food prices and overall inflation rate.
Reiterating the urgency of the bill’s signing into law, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said that through rice tariffication affordable rice can be obtained from various sources and need not be the sole responsibility of the National Food Authority (NFA).
The rice tariffication bill amends the two-decade-old Republic Act (RA) No. 8178, otherwise known as the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996, and replaces the quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice imports with tariff.
The bill, which was ratified by both chambers of Congress on November 28, 2018, is set to be transmitted to Malacañan for the President’s signature.
Under the new rice importation regime, legitimate rice traders can now import rice sans NFA permits, provided they secure a sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) and pay the appropriate tariff to the Bureau of Customs.
The NFA, on the other hand, will focus on ensuring sufficient buffer stocks to address emergency situations. As there is a need to periodically replenish the buffer stocks, NFA can still sell cheap rice, but to very targeted markets.