“The rice tariffication bill enacted into law”, confirmed by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, last Friday.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had signed the rice tariffication bill.
As cited in the report of Business World, ” Mr. Sotto issued the confirmation in a Viber message to reporters Friday evening, saying: Pirmado na ang additional discounts for poli(tical) ads, Rice tariffication din (The measures allowing additional discounts for political ads has been signed, as well as the rice tariffication bill).”
Respectively, rice tariffication enable to ease import restrictions of rice . Thus, increase of rice supply and lowers the buying price are expected.
Significantly, the law would now enable to imposed a tariff as low as 35% to foreign rice traders. The collected tax will be subsidies to the local farmers of rice industry.
Different Opinions Regarding Rice Tariffication
Importantly, different voices deemed to express their sides towards the liberalization of the tarrification of rice.
According to Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairperson Cynthia Villar, the law would help local farmers be more competitive. Moreover,she also imparted that the law obtains competitiveness enhancement fund worth Php 10 billion.
The said fund will provide inputs such as rice farm machinery and equipment for eligible farmer groups, rice cooperatives and local government units. Also, fund will support seed development and financial assistance to farmers.
Foundation for Economic Freedom, which considers the measure as the “most far-reaching reform” in rice policy. He said that “by liberalizing the industry the syndicate controlling the value chain will now be nullified by free entry and competition — including entry and competition from foreign rice suppliers”.
On the other, it is important to consider that the report from Business World stated that “the bill’s opponents also said the measure would kill off the industry by discouraging rice farmers from planting the crop”.
The group Kilusan ng Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said that this is a “total lie.” This pertains to the expected advantages that law would offer once it will be enacted.
According to the group, “they consider this law as ‘death warrant’ for the local rice industry, as it would usher in imported rice which would “wipe out” local rice farmers, who already bear the high cost of palay (grain) production, while its buying price remains low”.