NEDA sees further decline in price of rice with tariffication law
The National Economic and Development Authority ( NEDA) said on Wednesday it expects the price of rice per kilo to further drop with the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law.
In a press briefing in Malacanang, NEDA Assistant Secretary Mercedita Sombilla said average retail price of regular milled rice has gone down to P36.33 per kilo in January this year, lower by P4.04 per kilo in the same month last year.
She said the price in January even "exceeded" the government's expectation of P37 per kilo.
"And we hope that it will still, you know, go a little bit lower so that many will benefit," she said.
"The other thing is that we’re also observing greater market segmentation in rice, as more provinces are now selling at a price range between P24 per kilo to P36 pesos per kilo. This is significantly lower compared to last year’s P37 per kilo to P44 pesos per kilo," the official added.
Sombillo, Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino held a joint press briefing in Malacanang to mark the first anniversary of the RTL.
Lambino noted that in 2019, the government collected P12.3 billion from the 2.03 million metric tons of rice import under the RTL. From January to February 14, the government generated P1.7 billion from rice tariffs.
Dar said his office would tap the excess P2.3 billion from the P10 billion target to further help the farmers.
"I have discussed this during the cabinet meeting last Monday and they have given us the go signal to now fully access this 2.3 billion (pesos). Again, for the very purpose of helping rice farmers increased their levels of productivity, competitiveness, and profitability," he said.
Of the P2.3 billion, P1.3 billion would be allocated for crop diversification and P1 billion for crop insurance, Dar added.
Late last year, farmers blamed the RTL for the significant drop of palay farm gate prices, which reportedly went down to as low as P7 per kilo. Celerina Monte/DMS