Revenue collection from tariffs on imported rice exceeded the minimum funding requirement for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) in the first eight-months of the year, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
In a statement, the DOF said the Bureau of Customs collected P11.69 billion in tariffs from 1.74 million metric tons of rice imports in January to August, already 17 percent above the minimum funding requirement for the annual RCEF for the following year.
Citing the report by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the DOF said that revenues from rice imports at end-August came from shipments worth P35.07 billion.
The DOF also said Customs’ improved valuation system raised the average value of rice imports by 4.1 percent to P20,188 per metric ton from P19,386 per metric ton in the same period last year.
“Thus, even with a 7.6-percent drop in volume from 1.88 million metric tons from January 1 to Aug. 29, 2020 to 1.74 million metric tons in the same period this year, the revenue collected by the Customs dipped only slightly by 4.4 percent from P12.22 billion to P11.69 billion,” DOF said.
All import duties collected from rice imports beginning March 5, 2019 go to the annual P10-billion RCEF as provided under Republic Act (RA) No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).
The RCEF is used to finance programs that will sharpen the competitiveness of palay growers by way of providing them easy access to fertilizer, farm machinery and equipment, high-yield seeds and cheap credit.
Moreover, RCEP is offering 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 for financial assistance to palay farmers, titling of agricultural lands, an expanded crop insurance program on rice and crop diversification.