Findings of Rice Tariffication Law review expected by Q1

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said the results of the ongoing review of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) will be released by the first quarter.

“Hopefully we will be coming out with the results of the review by the first quarter of next year,” Agriculture Undersecretary Mercidita A. Sombilla said in a briefing on Monday.

According to Ms. Sombilla, the law provides for a “mid-term assessment” of how the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) was used.

RCEF is a component of the law and is provided P10 billion a year for six years from rice import tariffs.

Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law of 2019 deregulated rice imports. It allows private parties to import with a tariff of 35% on grain brought in from Southeast Asia.

Ms. Sombilla said that for the full review of the RTL, this will be conducted in 2024.

“Right now, we don’t see any amendments to the provisions because from what we are seeing, in terms of the impact of the law, it has been really positive,” Ms. Sombilla said.

She said the law has led to yield increases and higher farmer incomes.

“What we are really trying to right now is really more on the expansive study on the cost of production of rice,” as it was affected by the law, Ms. Sombilla said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose