Tue. May 11th, 2021
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.philstar.com)

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has collected a total of P15.494 billion in tariffs from 2.38 million metric tons (MT) of rice imported by private traders in 2020, according to Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.

Guerrero also said during a recent Department of Finance (DOF) Executive Committee (Execom) meeting that the BOC also improved its valuation system for rice imports, raising the tariffed value of the grain to 7 percent on average in 2020 compared to previous year. 

From P18,980 per MT in 2019, the average value of the tariffed value of rice increased to P20,320 per MT in 2020, Guerrero said in his report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd during the Execom meeting.

Guerrero said this improvement in valuation was the result of the BOC paying particular attention to the classification, quantity and weight of rice stocks imported by private traders under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), which liberalized rice imports.

He also reported a significant increase of P301.5 million or 51.7 percent in revenues from rice imports last December, which amounted to P885.05 million, compared to P583.58 million in the same month in 2019. 

In 2019, revenues collected under the RTL totaled P12.31 billion from 2.03 million MT or rice imports.

Another P9.28 billion was collected from 1.1 million MT of rice imported prior to the March 2019 implementation of the RTL. 

All import duties collected from rice imports under the RTL go to the annual P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which is used to finance programs that will sharpen the competitiveness of palay growers by way of providing them access to farm machinery and equipment, high-yield seeds, cheap credit and skills training programs on farm mechanization and modern farming techniques. Annual tariff revenues from rice imports in excess of P10 billion shall be earmarked by the Congress—and included in the national budget of the following year—for financial assistance to palay farmers, titling of agricultural lands, an expanded crop insurance program on rice, and crop diversification. SOVEREIGNPH

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