December 27, 2023
MANILA – President Marcos has issued an executive order that maintains the temporary modification of rates of import duty on rice, corn, and meat products for one more year.
In issuing the Executive Order No. 50, the President needs to ensure affordable prices of the goods amid the negative impact of the El Niño phenomenon on the price and production of rice and corn, the continuing prevalence of African Swine Fever (ASF), and the trade restriction imposed by some exporting countries that will affect prices of the basic commodities.
The EO, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on Dec. 22, was uploaded on the Official Gazette website on Tuesday.
The President said the current economic situation of the country necessitates the extension of the application of the reduced tariff rates on rice, corn, and meat of swine products to sustain affordable prices in the market.
“The present economic condition warrants the continued application of the reduced tariff rates on rice, corn, and meat of swine (fresh, chilled, or frozen) to maintain affordable prices for the purpose of ensuring food security, managing inflationary pressures, help augment the supply of basic agricultural commodities in the country, and diversify the country’s market sources,” he said.
The President also ordered the Neda committee on tariff and related matters to submit its findings and recommendations on the biannual and annual review of tariff rates including analysis and monitoring of the subject commodities.
Under Section 1608 of the Republic Act No. 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, the President is empowered to increase, reduce, or remove existing rates of import duty in the interest of general welfare and national security and upon the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
In its meeting on Dec. 14, the Neda Board endorsed the temporary extension up to the end of 2024 the reduced Most Favored Nation rates for rice, corn, and swine meat that were granted under EO 10 in December last year.
In a press briefing also on Dec. 14, Neda Director General Arsenio Balisacan said there remained “continuing challenges” in supply issues such as in the case of swine meat due to the spread of ASF.
“And with respect to corn and rice we still see shortages—meaning demand exceeding production—so [these] would have to be sourced from imports,” he said.