Cutting tariffs to keep rice prices low could continue in Philippines

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Cutting tariffs to keep rice prices low could continue in Philippines

Robert Besser
23 Dec 2022, 02:48 GMT+10

  • The office of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said that to help curb inflation, he approved the recommendation to extend lower tariff rates on rice and other food items up
  • With inflation running at 14-year highs, the modified rates, which were approved in 2021 and due to expire at the end of this year, have been extended to 31st December, 2023
  • In a statement, the press secretary’s office said that the tariff on imported rice will, therefore, remain at 35 percent, while those on corn and pork products will remain at 5 to 15 percent and 15 to 25 percent

MANILA, Philippines: The office of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said that to help curb inflation, he approved the recommendation of the country’s economic ministry to extend lower tariff rates on rice and other food items up to the end of 2023.

With inflation running at 14-year highs, the modified rates, which were approved in 2021 and due to expire at the end of this year, have been extended to 31st December, 2023.

In a statement, the press secretary’s office said that the tariff on imported rice will, therefore, remain at 35 percent, while those on corn and pork products will remain at 5 to 15 percent and 15 to 25 percent, respectively.

The tariff for coal imports, a key fuel in power generation, will remain at zero beyond the end of next year, but will be reviewed regularly.

In a statement, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said, “Through this policy, we shall augment our domestic food supplies, diversify our sources of food staples, and temper inflationary pressures arising from supply constraints and rising international prices of production inputs.”

Due to surging inflation, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) raised interest rates seven times this year, and foresees more tightening in 2023.

“We are determined to steer the Philippine economy to meet the 6.0 to 7.0 percent economic growth target for 2023,” Balisacan said.

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