Villanueva hails Senate for approval of rice tarrification bill
Senator Joel Villanueva on Wednesday hailed the Senate’s approval of the rice tarrification bill, saying it would address the hike on price of rice.
“As one of the authors of the bill, it has been our consistent call to liberalize the entry of cheaper rice in the country to ease the burden of our kababayans suffering from the rising price of rice,” Villanueva said in a statement.
Voting 14-0, the Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1998 or An Act Replacing The Quantitative Import Restrictions On Rice With Tariffs, Lifting The Quantitative Export Restrictions On Rice, And Creating The Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.
Under the bill, a 35 percent duty will be implemented on imports from the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (Asean) member states and 50 percent for non-Asean nations.
It will also impose a P10-billion “rice enhancement fund” from proceeds of the proposed rice tariffs. The fund will provide forms of assistance to farmers such as equipment and skills enhancement, among others.
Villanueva is also hoping that the bill will address issues such as rice shortage and rice smuggling.
“We hope that the immediate enactment of this measure will ensure that our country would not have to suffer rice shortages and, at the same time, discourage the smuggling of rice, a plague that has long been infecting this country,” Villanueva said. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.