Revenue collection from imported rice increased this year despite decline in the price of the staple food in the world market, the Department of Finance (DOF) reported Thursday, Oct. 21.

Based on the Bureau of Customs report submitted to the DOF, the agency collected P14.3 billion in rice duties from Jan. 1 to Oct 8, 2021, up 3.2 percent compared with P13.84 billion in the same period last year.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said revenues came from the 2.18 million metric tons (MT) of rice shipments that entered the country during the period, which also have a combined cost of P40.81 billion.

The average valuation of rice during period only slightly increased from P18,867 per MT in 2020 to P18,898 per MT in 2021, Guerrero said during a recent DOF executive committee meeting.

“Due to the continuous decline of the price of rice in the world market since May 2021, average value of rice per metric ton increased by only 0.2 percent versus last year,” Guerrero said.

Import duties collected from rice imports beginning Mar. 5, 2019 go to the annual P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (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.

RCEF also offers skills training programs on farm mechanization and modern farming techniques.

Source: Manila Bulletin (