June 05, 2024 | 16:00 GMT+7

The Philippines to cut tariffs on imported rice by 20 per cent

Viet An -

Vietnam exported to the Philippines 1.44 million tons of rice in the first 5 months of this year, accounting for 72.9 per cent of the Philippine's total rice imports.

The Philippines, the world’s top importer of rice, announced on June 4 that it will be cutting import tax on this crucial product from 35 per cent to 15 per cent until 2028. 

The decision was made after the 17th meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. where a new Comprehensive Tariff Program was approved.

According to the NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, reducing rice tariff is expected to bring down rice prices for consumers while also supporting domestic production through tariff cover and increased budgetary support to improve agricultural productivity especially as global rice prices remain elevated.

Mr.Balisacan stated during a press conference on June 5 that the Marcos administration is attempting to hold down prices for poor Filipinos by cutting the duty on imported rice to as low as $0.49 per kg within the year.

“We note that even at the reduced rate of 15 per cent, the rice sector continues to enjoy comparatively high tariff protection from competitive imports as the tariff is higher than for the 80 to 90 per cent of the total 11,484 tariff lines under the ASEAN Tariff Nomenclature 2022”, Mr. Balisacan said.

The US Department of Agriculture (USAD) estimates that the Philippines will import up to 4.2 million tons of rice this year, maintaining its position as the biggest importer of this product. 

According to the Vietnam Trade Office in the Philippines, in the first 5 months of this year, Vietnamese rice exported to the Philippines reached 1.44 million tons, accounting for 72.9 per cent of the Philippine's total rice imports. Some businesses reported that Vietnamese rice such as DT8 and OM5451 are highly sought after by Filipino consumers due to their high quality.

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