The economic advisors of Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. suggested reducing tariffs on rice imports to address the rising prices, but the President declined the proposal.
Following his meeting with his Cabinet, Mr. Marcos stated in a press release from the Palace that it was not appropriate to decrease tariff rates at this time due to the projected decrease in global rice prices.
The NEDA suggested reducing tariff rates from 35% to 0%.
According to the presidential palace, NEDA Secretary Arsenio A. Balisacan and Agriculture Undersecretaries Leocadio Sebastian and Mercedita Sombilla came to a consensus during the Tuesday meeting that now is not the appropriate time to decrease tariff rates due to the decrease in global rice prices.
During the meeting, the President announced that the executive order implementing a price limit of P45 per kilo for well-milled rice and P41 for regular milled rice would continue to be enforced.
“He suggested that we examine it closely,” he stated in Filipino, regarding his directive implemented on September 5th.
According to Mr. Marcos, the country has an adequate amount of rice available, and he is attributing the rising prices to smugglers and hoarders.
The production of rice in the Philippines reached 4.25 million metric tons (MT) in the second quarter, up from 4.2 million MT in the previous year.