House terminates debates on rice tariffication bill

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2018 09:24 PM

MANILA - The House of Representatives on Wednesday terminated sponsorship and debates on the proposed rice tariffication law.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the measure on Monday.

House Bill 7735 seeks to put in place safety nets for Filipino rice producers by imposing tariffs in lieu of quantitative restrictions on rice imports.

It mandates the National Food Authority as the sole authority to undertake the direct importation of rice for the purpose of ensuring food security and maintaining sufficient national buffer stocks.

It also authorizes the NFA to allocate import permits among certified and licensed importers for importation other than maintaining buffer stocks. 

It mandates the NFA to issue guidelines for the exportation of rice and corn by certified and licensed experts.

The measure creates the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund or RICE fund which shall consist of all duties collected from the importation of rice under the act.

The bill was sponsored by Agriculture Committee Chair Jose Panganiban and counts Speaker Arroyo as one of the authors.