Rice tariff revenues up 58% in Jan.

Published March 7, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

Revenues from rice tariffs increased by more than half in January amid higher imports and enhanced valuation system, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Friday, March 5.

In a report to submitted to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, the Bureau of Customs said that tariffs from rice imports jumped by 58 percent to P2.04 billion in January this year from P1.29 billion in the same month last year.

Preliminary data from the bureau showed that the amount collected in the first month of the year was from 287,957 metric tons of imported rice, which rose by 29 percent year-on-year from 223,278 metric tons.

Based on the Customs electronic-to-mobile (e2M) system, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the average valuation of rice imports also improved by 11.5 percent in January.

During the month, the average value of rice imports increased from P18,177 per metric ton last year to P20,262 per metric ton.

Dominguez earlier directed the Customs bureau to check against private traders for possible undervaluation of their rice imports. 

The finance chief said the improvements made by the Customs have ensured that proper implementation of classification, quantity and weight of rice stocks brought into the country are enforced.

 “Increase in the average value of imported rice… in turn, meant higher revenues for the government from the duties collected from these imports,” the DOF said.

All import duties collected from rice imports under the rice tariffication law go to the annual P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).  

The RCEF 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.