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Rice Tarrification Law: Beneficial to Consumers and A Burden to Farmers

Juanga, Mark Matthew V. & Sagun, Erica Grace B.

The government of the Philippines had recently implemented the Rice tariffication law

which would lift the limits in importing of rice by the country and we strongly disagree with this

law.

The trice tarrification law or the importation of rice from the other countries resulted in the

price drop of local rice, which benefit the rice consumers, but it greatly hurts the work of our

farmers (Madarang, 2019). It just means that the importation of rice from other countries greatly

affect the local farmers as their crop is being set aside by the government officials and the imported

rice are being prioritize instead of our local crops. With the increased importation of rice, there

will be a stiffer competition in the market and as a result, local farmers will have no choice but to

lower their prices that will compromise their income. Furthermore, "The Philippines is an

agricultural country, and we have all the means to grow the amount of food that we currently

import," watchdog bantay bigas spokeperson, Zen Soriano said. Importing of rice is not really

necessary as we know that Philippines is an agricultural country and we can provide the said

scarcity in rice if the government would have strong campaign and program in helping the local

farmers in their crops

As stated by Tobias (2019), in her study “The Philippine Rice Tariffication Law:

Implications and Issues”, it was said that rice tarrification has a domino effect in our economy.

Rice milling process produce bran and binlid which are used in the process of making feeds for

poultry or aquaculture and beer respectively. A decreased in the supply of such materials would

cause for an increased price in pork, chicken and beer. Rice tarrification law may paved way in the
lowering of rice prices, but it would also cause for price increasement of other food items. In

addition, biomass and the construction sector will also be affected by this law. A low rice output

will result in low rice hull which is a fuel used primarily to create electricity in biomass furnaces

and a binder of cement and land fillers.

In conclusion, rice tarrification law is not necessary for the country for local farmers have

the capacity to grow their own crops to supply the need of the country. The government should

focus more on providing financial help for the local farmers as they are the main producers of our

food supply. Moreover, this law would also result in the increase of other food items such as pork,

chicken and beers. Additionally, electricity in the province and construction industry are also

affected because of the low output of rice hull.

During the last months of 2018, there was a significant rise in the inflation rate in the price

of rice in the Philippines after the National Food Authority (NFA) run out of stock. As a solution

to the continuous growth of inflation, senator Cynthia Villar proposed the rice tariffication bill,

which will remove the quantitative restrictions in the number of rice imports of the country. This

bill became a law when it was approved by president Rodrigo Duterte last February 14, 2019. The

said law will aid in the surging inflation of the country because according to the Philippine

Statistics Authority (PSA), rice was the main contributor of the inflation last September 2018 and

prices of rice continued to climb since then (Tobias, 2019). In relation with this, Briones, Cruz,

and Mendoza (2018), mentioned in their paper entitled “Rethinking Rice Policy: Philippine Rice

Tariffication as a Win-Win-Win Policy for the Poor, Consumers and Farmers”, that rice

tarriffication will make the prices of rice go lower benefiting the marginalized people of the

country. This will push for an average retail prices of farm gated products by php 4.56/kilo to php

6.97/kilo respectively.
In addition, rice tarrification is not that negative at all, as it supports the scarcity of rice

supply on a certain country. As for example the country Malaysia, the only solution to sustain their

rice supply is to import rice from different country. As the demand of rice and population increases,

the local production of rice will not be enough to sustain the demand of the growing population.

Importation of rice will surely acquire food security and safety net of supply for the future

(Munusamy, Rahim, and Rajamoorthy, 2015).

In summary, rice tariffication law would help in the surging inflation of the country as it

would aid in the lowering price of rice which is the primarily contributor in the inflation. A drop

in the inflation rate would greatly benefit the poor. Also, this law would secure a safe supply of

rice for the country, a steady supply of rice will result to the food security for the future.
References:

Boone, D. (2017). ‘Rice importation is no solution to food security problems’ - Bulatlat. [online]

Bulatlat. Available at: https://www.bulatlat.com/2017/06/15/rice-importation-no-solution-

food-security-problems/ [Accessed 15 Nov. 2019].

Briones, R., Cruz, J. and Mendoza, R. (2019). Rethinking Rice Policy: Philippine Rice

Tariffication as a Win-Win-Win Policy for the Poor, Consumers and Farmers.

(Unpublished thesis).

Madarang, C. (2019). Why rice farmers are crying for help after the Rice Tariffication Law.

[online] Interaksyon. Available at: http://www.interaksyon.com/politics-

issues/2019/09/05/154489/farmers-rice-tarrification-law-effects/ [Accessed 15 Nov.

2019].c

Rajamoorthy, Y., Rahim, K. B. A., & Munusamy, S. (2015). Rice Industry in Malaysia:

Challenges, Policies and Implications. Procedia Economics and Finance, 31, 861–867.

doi: 10.1016/s2212-5671(15)01183-1.

Tobias, A. (2019). The Philippine Rice Tariffication Law: Implications and Issues. [online]

Ap.fftc.agnet.org. Available at: http://ap.fftc.agnet.org/ap_db.php?id=960&print=1

[Accessed 8 Nov. 2019].