Move to certify rice tariffication law amendments as urgent lauded

Move to certify rice tariffication law amendments as urgent lauded

/ 02:27 PM May 06, 2024

Move to certify urgent RTL amendments hailed


MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.’s move to certify as urgent the amendments to Republic Act No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law will be critical to improving lives, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Monday.

Romualdez, in a statement, said that the amendments to R.A. No. 11203 are very important in the government’s effort to bring down the price of rice.


Earlier, Marcos said that he would certify as urgent bills that seek to amend the law so that the National Food Authority (NFA) would once again be allowed to sell cheap rice to the public.


“The certification of this bill as urgent by President Marcos is a critical step forward in our concerted efforts to improve the livelihood of our local farmers and ensure food security for all Filipinos,” Romualdez said.

“This amendment will allow us to address the challenges and limitations of the current law, ensuring that it serves the best interest of the agricultural sector and the consumers,” he added.

The Speaker said in an interview last April 30 that Marcos may certify the R.A. No. 11203 amendments as urgent if the changes can address high rice prices.

According to Romualdez, rice prices can drop by P10 to P15 if the Rice Tariffication Law is amended by June, and they will be around the P35 to P40 per kilogram mark.

In a separate interview, Deputy Majority Leader and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo explained that the Rice Tariffication Law prevented the NFA from directly selling rice to farmers, eventually impacting people’s access to cheap varieties.

Romualdez said rice prices can be managed more effectively if NFA is allowed to sell cheap grains again.


The House Committee on Agriculture and Food is conducting hearings to discuss the amendments to R.A. 11203.  Among the bills discussed are the following:

  • House Bill (HB) No. 212 seeking to amend R.A. No. 11203’s Section 13 (Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund or RCEF), to lift the quantitative import restriction on rice, authored by Nueva Ecija 1st District Rep. Mikaela Angela Suansing
  • HB No. 404, seeking to repeal the whole R.A. No. 11203, authored by Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas
  • HB No. 1562, seeking to authorize the Bureau of Customs’ excess tariff revenues from rice importation and other possible sources as a special emergency fund, and be used as financial aid for rice farmers, authored by Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte Jr.
  • HB No. 9030, seeking to create a national rice emergency response, authored by Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo
  • HB No. 9547, seeking to extend the RCEF, authored by Nueva Ecija 3rd District Rep. Rosanna Vergara
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TAGS: amendments, rice tariffication law

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