The Department of Finance said the Rice Tariffication Law was among the game changing reforms in 2019.
The law imposed a farmer protection tariffs on rice imports in lieu of quantitative restrictions. The DoF advocated congressional approval for the law last year.
The approval by the Congress and subsequent implementation of the RTL is considered a proud achievement of the Duterte presidency, which was able to effect what Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III described as a “politically difficult” reform, after around 30 years of failed attempts by previous administrations.
Analysts believe the steady drop in the retail cost of rice since the RTL took effect in March has helped the Duterte administration pull down headline inflation, which rose to a nine-year high of 6.7 percent in September 2018. Inflation declined to 2.5 percent in December 2019, bringing the full-year average to 2.5 percent, well below the target range of 2-4 percent.
Dominguez said in a statement rice tariffication should be viewed as an “opportunity to revolutionize the agriculture sector and help farmers become more competitive in the global economy.”