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Customs collects P18.9B rice import duties, P3.75B from pork imports in 2021 —DOF

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected a total of P18.9 billion in duties from rice imports and P3.75 billion from pork imports in 2021, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday.

Citing the report of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the DOF said that duties collected from rice imports last year was 22% higher than the P15.5-billion collected in 2020.

Duties collected from rice imports, beginning March 5, 2019, go to the annual P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) pursuant under Republic Act (RA) No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).

The RCEF is used to finance programs that will sharpen the competitiveness of rice farmers by way of providing them easy access to fertilizer, farm machinery and equipment, high-yield seeds and cheap credit; and offering skills training programs on farm mechanization and modern farming techniques.

For pork imports, the DOF said the BOC was able to collect P3.75 billion between April 9, 2021 to January 28, 2022 from a total volume of 242 million kilograms.

The BOC, however, estimates that it had foregone P4 billion in revenues during this period as a result of the presidential directives lowering the import tariffs on pork, according to the Finance department.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte issued executive orders (EOs) that took effect starting April 7, 2021 to lower pork import tariffs and increase the allowable import volumes of the meat.

The said directives were meant to quell inflation by boosting the supply of pork and stabilizing its retail prices in the domestic market after the outbreak of the Asian Swine Fever (ASF) had hurt domestic hog production.

EO 128 lowered pork import tariffs to 5% within its minimum access volume (MAV) and 15% outside MAV for the first three months upon the effectivity of the order and 10% for the next nine months.

EO 134 which superseded EO 128, meanwhile, set tariffs on pork imports under the MAV to 10% for the first three months, and 15% in the next nine months.

For imports outside the MAV, the tariff rates were set at 20% for the first three months and 25% in the succeeding nine months.—AOL, GMA News