DOF: Tariffs on rice importation under rice tariffication law to start on March 3

(Eagle News)–The tariffs on rice importation under the newly signed rice tariffication law will start on March 3, the Department of Finance said on Monday .Feb. 18.

In a statement, the DOF said the National  Food Authority Council also “approved the transfer of the NFA functions to the Department of Agriculture as provided under the rice tariffication law, effective March 3.”

The DOF said the approval was made also on Monday, Feb. 18, during the NFA Council meeting that aimed to fine-tune the implementing rules and regulations of the law that removes quantity restrictions on the importation of rice for as long as the 35 percent tariff  on imports from other countries in Southeast Asia are paid.

“Our objective in liberalizing rice imports is to bring down the costs of the staple. Our price is 50 percent higher than the others, including Singapore, which does not produce rice. Will it take us 180 days to effect a reduction in the cost of living of our people?” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in the meeting also attended by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan, Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua,  National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon and Monetary Board Member Bruce Tolentino.

Representatives from the NFA, National Economic Development Authority, Land Bank of the Philippines, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Social Welfare and Development were also present in the meeting.