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Slashed tarrif for imported rice, corn, meat extended until December 2024


December 26, 2023 | 3:52pm

MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to ensure price stability amid concerns of El Niño’s impact in the upcoming months, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the extension of the reduced tariffs on imported rice and other food items until the end of December 2024, according to a release of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Tuesday.

In a release, the PCO said that Executive Order (EO) No. 50 signed by Marcos is aimed at safeguarding against potential price fluctuations due to the looming threat of dry weather and the African swine fever. 

“The present economic condition warrants the continued application of the reduced tariff rates on rice, corn, and meat of swine to maintain affordable prices for the purpose of ensuring food security, managing inflationary pressures, help augment the supply of basic agricultural commodities in the country, and diversify the country’s market sources,” Marcos was quoted as saying.

The new EO said that rice’s tariff rates will remain at 35%, while import levies on corn and pork products will stay at 5% to 15% and 15% to 25%, respectively.

The modified rates, initially endorsed in 2021, were already prolonged this year due to elevated inflation. Marcos said that another extension is necessary until the end of next year.

In November, inflation cooled down at 4.1%, marking a second consecutive month of easing. However, the average inflation rate for the first 11 months of 2023 was 6.2%, significantly surpassing the BSP’s annual target range of 2% to 4%.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Eli Remolona previously said that El Niño could pose a threat to the country’s food supply. 

National Economic and Development Authority endorsed the extension the temporary extension of the reduced Most Favored Nation rates on December 14 under Executive Order No. 10 on rice, corn, and meat of swine until Dec. 31, 2024.

The six-page EO was signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on December 22.

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