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NEDA board reduces rice tariffs from 35% to 15%

A worker arranges sacks of rice at a local rice store in Quezon City on October 4, 2023.

MANILA, Philippines — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) announced that its board has agreed to reduce rice tariffs to 15% for in-quota and out-quota rates until 2028.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan said that the agency has decided to lower the rice tariffs from the previous 35% in order to curb ease upward pressures in domestic rice prices. 

“Reducing rice tariffs is expected to bring down rice prices for consumers while supporting domestic production through tariff cover and increased budgetary support to improve agricultural productivity, especially as global rice prices remain elevated,” Balisacan said. 

The tariff reduction on rice comes at a time as global rice prices remain high due to the El Niño phenomenon and growing demand from the increasing population, according to Balisacan.

But despite the tariff reduction, he added that the rice sector will continue to benefit from a relatively high level of tariff protection compared to other goods under the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature 2022.

“We note that even at the reduced rate of 15%, the rice sector continues to enjoy comparatively high tariff protection from competitive imports as the tariff is higher than for the 90% of the total 11, 484 tariff lines,” Balisacan said.

The NEDA board also retained the tariff cover on certain agricultural products which include sugar, vegetables such as onions, shallots, garlic, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, sweet potatoes, cassava, coffee substitutes, complete feeds and feed preparations.

On May 7, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported a slight ease in rice inflation by 23.9% percent in the month of April. 

The rice inflation rate accelerated to 24.4% in March.

The tariff reduction is a part of the new Comprehensive Tariff Program for 2024-2028, which was approved by the NEDA board on June 3. 

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is also expected to implement an executive order to implement the tariff program.

https://www.philstar.com/business/2024/06/04/2360318/neda-board-reduces-rice-tariffs-35-15 QR Code

Published Date: June 4, 2024

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