Amended rice tariffication bill may be approved on 2nd reading next week
House Agriculture Committee Chair Jose Panganiban said that the amended rice tariffication bill may be approved on second reading next week, which will impose a tariff of 35 percent on imported rice.
“The debate has ended [so] I believe by Monday, it will be on approve on second reading and then we just had it by the bicameral that’s it,” Panganiban said in an interview with ANC.
The amended Agricultural Tariffication Act, which will impose 35 percent tariff on rice coming from member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) like Thailand and Vietnam, aims to replace the World Trade Organization-backed import quote on rice, popularly known as Quantitative Restriction (QR).
Panganiban said the amended bill will help improve the price of rice in the local market.
“You see the price of imported rice, unfortunately, is lower than the price of our local production. The landed cost of per kilo of imported rice coming from Thailand or Vietnam is about P27 per kilo while the production cost of rice for locally produced rice is about P34 to 35 per kilo,” Panganiban said.
“So there is about P7 to P8 difference so you see imported rice to come in the market than we could expect a lower price for our rice for our consumer,” it added.
He also admitted that somehow, local farmers will be negatively affected but once the tariff is collected from rice imports, it will be used to help farmers improve their productivity.
“In the actuality if we allow imported rice to come in there will be an effect to the farmers of course. But then again one of the features of the bill is to safeguard the interest of our rice farmers,” Panganiban said.
“So that all of the farms that will be collected from the tariff of imported rice will be put into a rice fund which is called Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund and this funds will be used to subsidize the inputs of our farmers the organization and for other incentives that will be given to our rice farmers,” he added.