Rice tariff cut and Kadiwa direct sales to cut rice prices substantially

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday lauded the decision of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. to cut the tariff for imported rice from 35 percent to just 15 percent.

“The import levy reduction and the direct sale of imported rice by the government through its Kadiwa centers should bring down the retail price of rice substantially, especially for consumers,” Speaker Romualdez said.

He said the effort to reduce rice prices is consistent with the Marcos administration’s goal of making the staple available and affordable.

The leader of the 300-plus-strong House of Representatives said rice farmers should not worry about the assistance they receive from government, which are funded from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund set up under Republic Act No. 11203, or the Rice Tariffication Law.

He added that official data showed that as of last month, the fund had accumulated P16 billion from import tariff collections.

“This means that the government has enough funds to help farmers, while it is trying to bring down rice prices through the import tariff cut and direct Kadiwa sales,” he stressed.

The House leader pointed out that the House advocacy of returning the rice importation mandate of the National Food Authority is also meant to make the staple affordable.

The rice importation mandate bill remains pending in the Senate.

“We should find a long-term solution to the rice price issue,” he said.

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