Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte reduced the tariff for imported rice on Saturday (May 15).
To ensure food security and protect consumers in the world’s biggest importer of the grain.
Philippines, who is battling elevated inflation, took into consideration the increase in global rice prices and uncertainties in local rice supply.
The president’s office said in a statement.
In an executive order, Duterte cut the Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates on rice to 35 percent from 40 percent for in-quota purchases and 50 percent out-quota volume for one year.
“To diversify the country’s market sources, augment rice supply, maintain prices affordable, and reduce pressures on inflation.”
In January, the agriculture ministry projected the country to import at least 1.7 million tonnes of its staple food this year to fully cover domestic requirements.
It buys more than 90 percent of import requirements from Vietnam.
The Philippines’ paddy rice output rose 2.6 per cent to a record 19.3 million tonnes last year, government data showed. The agriculture ministry targets unmilled rice output at 20.5 million tonnes this year.
More than 20 tropical storms hit the Philippines annually.
With the strongest typhoons destroying crops like rice and corn in the second half, the peak harvest season.
Duterte also tweaked MFN tariff rates for pork products to 10 per cent for in-quota purchases and 20 percent for out-quota volumes for the first three months.
And 15 percent for in-quota and 25 percent for out-quota from the 4th to the 12th month.
The tariffs were higher than previously-announced rates after opposition by the local hog industry.
The government is rushing to address the shortage of pork supply, hit hard by African Swine Fever outbreaks, that has pushed inflation to the high end of the 2 percent to 4 per cent target.
Source: Channel News Asia