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Rice prices to fall with import lib—NEDA

Rice prices are expected to trend downonce the amendment of the agricultural tariffication law is enacted, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

Amending Republic Act (RA) No. 8178, otherwise known as the Agricultural Tariffication Act” of 1996, is expected to ease the temporary inflationary impact of the newly implemented tax reform law, besides world oil prices, as well as increase savings of a Filipino household.

“About 93 percent of Filipino households are rice consumers and they stand to benefit from lower price of rice. It is high time that the bill amending the two-decade-old law is passed,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.

According to NEDA’s preliminary estimate, headline inflation rate would be reduced by 1 percentage point if the domestic wholesale rice market reduces its price to the level of imported rice.

Even with just a PhP1.00 per kilo reduction in the wholesale price of rice, headline inflation rate would also be reduced by 0.3 percentage points.

At 35 percent tariff rate, the landed cost of imported rice, particularly from Thailand and Vietnam, along with its transport cost to the local market would be around PhP30.30 per kilogram.

This is about PhP4.31 lower than the domestic wholesale price of regular milled rice. The price reduction of PhP4.31 per kilogram will enable a Filipino household of five to save as much as PhP2,362 per year.

“This amount of savings could mean a lot to ordinary Filipinos especially to those struggling to make ends meet,” Pernia said. Pernia explained that this

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