Press Release
December 21, 2018

Reply on Piñol's Statement that the rice tariffication bill will result on high prices of Rice

In reply to the Statement of Sec. Pinol that the NFA will not be able to sell cheap rice to the public because the NFA is not anymore allowed to import rice under the new law but only allowed to buy from local farmers. President Duterte said that even with rice tariffication and liberalization of the rice industry, the NFA shall continue to provide the public particularly the less fortunate with rice that is affordable and safe. Once the law is passed the NFA will be directed to buy palay from our local farmers and together with Department of Agriculture to focus on developing cost- efficient system that will help reduce the production cost of locally-produced rice and stabilize rice prices. In addition, the rice subsidy of the DSWD amounting to P28B should be bought from the local farmers.

The Quantitative restriction on Importation of rice by the Philippines allowed by the World Trade Organization expired on June 30, 2017. The Philippines has to liberalize the importation of rice so the Philippine Congress passed the law on Rice Tarification to protect the Filipino farmers from imported rice. The tariff will be 35% on rice imports from Asean countries as per agreement and 50% from the rest of the world. The proceeds from the tariff will be given to the farmers in the amount of P10B a year for the next 6 years to make the farmers competitive by mechanization (P5B) better seed production (P3B) cheaper credit from Landbank and DBP (P1B) and training thru ATI, Philmech,Philrice and TESDA (P1B).

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