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President Marcos Implements Rice Tariff Reduction to Alleviate Price Pressures

Rice Tariff Reduction

President Marcos has taken decisive action to mitigate the rising cost of rice by approving a significant reduction in rice tariffs until 2028. This move, announced by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, aims to stabilize rice prices and ensure accessibility to this essential commodity for all segments of society. Here are some details according to the report of The Philippine Star.

The Comprehensive Tariff Program

Under the newly approved Comprehensive Tariff Program for 2024-2028, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by the President, has endorsed a reduction in rice tariffs from 35 to 15 percent. This strategic decision reflects a balanced approach to safeguarding the interests of both consumers and local producers.

The primary objective of the tariff reduction is to lower the price of rice to P29 per kilo, particularly for vulnerable households and beneficiaries of government assistance programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). By complementing the tariff reduction with direct subsidies, the government seeks to ensure that rice remains affordable for those most in need.

Secretary Balisacan clarified that the P29 target price is specifically intended for disadvantaged households, emphasizing that it does not represent a general pricing standard. This targeted approach reflects the government’s commitment to addressing poverty and promoting social equity through targeted interventions.

Supporting Domestic Production Amid Tariff Reduction

Despite the tariff reduction, the government remains committed to supporting domestic rice production through various measures, including tariff cover and increased budgetary support for agricultural productivity enhancement. These initiatives underscore the government’s holistic approach to fostering a resilient and self-sustaining agricultural sector.

Secretary Balisacan reassured the public that the tariff reduction would not compromise government revenue, emphasizing that it would stimulate economic activity and enhance household welfare. By balancing tariff reductions with revenue-generating mechanisms such as the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), the government aims to achieve sustainable economic growth while addressing consumer needs.

In addition to rice tariffs, the NEDA Board has retained tariff cover for various agricultural products and endorsed reductions for select chemicals and coal briquettes. These measures are designed to enhance energy security, reduce input costs, and promote overall economic resilience.

Rice Production Targets and Agricultural Resilience

Despite challenges posed by the El Niño phenomenon, the Department of Agriculture (DA) remains steadfast in its commitment to achieving record-high palay production targets. Through targeted interventions and government support programs, such as the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program, the DA aims to bolster agricultural resilience and ensure food security for all Filipinos.

President Marcos’ approval of the rice tariff reduction reflects a multifaceted approach to addressing economic challenges and promoting social welfare. By balancing tariff adjustments with targeted interventions and support for domestic production, the government seeks to foster inclusive growth and resilience across the agricultural sector.

Read Also: DTI Justifies ‘Shrinkflation’: Same Price, Less Product Weight

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