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NEDA Board to Slash Rice Tariffs to 15% from 35% Until 2028

NEDA Board Approves Rice Tariff Reduction in the Philippines to 15% Until 2028

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has made a significant decision regarding rice tariff reduction in the Philippines. They have agreed to reduce rice tariffs from 35 percent to 15 percent until 2028, aiming to make rice more affordable for Filipinos. Secretary Arsenio Balisacan announced this decision, which aligns with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s initiative to amend Republic Act No. 11203, the rice tariffication law (RTL).

The Department of Agriculture indicated that the proposed tariff cut by the Department of Finance (DOF) could reduce rice prices by PHP 4 to PHP 5 per kilo, providing significant relief to consumers. This rice tariff reduction in the Philippines is part of broader efforts to support domestic production and stabilize the market.

During the NEDA Board’s 17th meeting on Monday, the Comprehensive Tariff Program was approved, which will recalibrate current tariff rates until 2028. The decision aligns with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s initiative to amend Republic Act No. 11203, also known as the rice tariffication law (RTL), to lower rice prices across the country.

Various types of rice are displayed at the Agora Market in San Juan City on May 7, 2024, reflecting the ongoing efforts to stabilize rice prices. The Department of Agriculture has indicated that the proposed tariff cut by the Department of Finance (DOF) could reduce rice prices by PHP 4 to PHP 5 per kilo, providing significant relief to consumers.

“Reducing tariffs is expected to lower 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 stated during a Palace briefing.

Despite the expected benefits, Balisacan cautioned that the reduction in tariffs might not lead to a substantial drop in rice prices in local markets. The ongoing El Niño phenomenon and increasing domestic demand continue to exert upward pressure on prices. However, the tariff reduction is anticipated to significantly ease these pressures.

The NEDA Chief highlighted that the tariff reduction would complement existing measures to alleviate the impact of high prices on the poor. This includes providing direct subsidies to vulnerable populations, ensuring that the tariff cut not only supports economic stability but also enhances social welfare.

Key Points:

  • NEDA Board reduces rice tariffs from 35% to 15% until 2028.
  • Decision part of efforts to lower rice prices and support domestic production.
  • Reduction may lower rice prices by PHP 4 to PHP 5 per kilo.
  • Effort aligns with President Marcos Jr.’s proposed amendments to the rice tariffication law.
  • Tariff cut expected to ease upward price pressures caused by El Niño and rising demand.
  • Complements measures to support the poor and vulnerable through direct subsidies.

This strategic move by the NEDA Board is a crucial step towards ensuring food security and affordability, demonstrating the government’s commitment to economic stability and the well-being of its citizens.

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