SBN-1476: Replacing Quantitative Import Restrictions on Rice with Tariffs and Creating the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund
An Act Replacing Quantitative Import Restrictions on Rice with Tariffs and Creating the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act Number 8178, As Amended, and for Other Purposes
- This bill seeks to reduce household expenditure on rice by repealing laws that prescribe quantitative restrictions or that grant government agencies the power to impose such restriction on rice importation. This quantitative import restriction on rice shall then be replaced with a bound tariff rate system provided under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement. Through this intervention, it is hoped that sufficient rice supply in the country would be realized while additional government revenues would be generated.
- To ensure the continued productivity of rice farmers, this bill creates a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund to be sourced from duties collected from rice importation. This Rice Fund shall be set aside for the enhancement of productivity and income of rice farmers; modernization of farms and marketing processes; enrichment of rice research, development and extension programs; expansion of rice insurance coverage; and provision of agricultural credit to cover acquisition and establishment of machinery, equipment, and facility of rice farmers, farming cooperatives and associations, and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
- This bill also mandates the finalization of the Rice Roadmap of the Department of Agriculture within 180 days after its effectivity. This Rice Roadmap shall be used to restructure the government’s delivery of support services for the rice farming sector, and to establish a five-year rice program to provide alternative livelihood for directly-affected rice farmers.
- Ultimately, this bill seeks to achieve two objectives. One, it seeks to bring down the cost of living in the Philippines by reducing the food expenditure of ordinary Filipino households. Two, it seeks to establish a social safety net for affected rice farmers to protect their welfare and ensure their continued productivity amidst liberalization of rice trade in the country.
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