NEDA projects 39 provinces to produce rice cheaper than world’s top rice exporters
A government report said at least 39 rice-producing provinces will have an edge over Thailand and Vietnam in rice production should rice imports be levied 35 percent after the quantitative restrictions (QR) be lifted.
Results of the preliminary analysis conducted by the National Economic and Development Authority’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Staff (ANRES) show that the rice production in at least 39 provinces, which, in aggregate, account for 73% of the country’s total food requirement, will be able to produce rice P4 cheaper compared with Thai and Vietnamese rice.
The provinces are namely Nueva Ecija, Kalinga, Pampanga, Bataan, Biliran, Bulacan, Zamboanga del Sur, Isabela, Bukidnon, Nueva Vizcaya, Laguna, Pangasinan, Lanao del Norte, Aurora, Compostela Valley, Albay, Leyte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Negros Occidental, South Cotabato, Camarines Sur, Zamboanga City, Sultan Kudarat, Sorsogon, Cavite, Palawan, Antique, Iloilo, Aklan, Surigao del Sur, Capiz, Masbate, Catanduanes, Eastern Samar, Basilan, Western Samar, Guimaras, and Maguindanao.
The QR on rice — the only commodity in the country whose importation volume is capped — was supposed to end last year.
But the Philippines, still unprepared after two successful extensions of the use of the privilege which has been in place for more than two decades, merely maintained concessions, a move expected to keep any disputes from trade partners at bay while the country crafts the bill which will serve the foundation of the long due tariff regime on the staple grain.