MANILA -- The implementing rules of a law that will put tariffs on rice imports in place of quotas, aimed at bringing down the price of the staple, has been signed by policymakers, the National Economic and Development Authority said Friday.
The implementing rules and regulations of The Rice Tariffication Law is deemed "adopted for implementation," the NEDA said in a statement.
"In moving forward, we all have the long-term goal of modernizing the rice industry and improving the lives of all Filipinos, especially farmers, in our minds," said Socioeconomic Planning Sec. Ernesto Pernia said.
The implementing rules include guidelines on the President's powers as well as safeguards in case of emergencies such as sudden swings in domestic prices, the NEDA said.
It also sets guidance on the reorganization of the National Food Authority, which will serve mainly as manager of the country's buffer stock.
The NFA Council will commission a study to determine the "optimal" buffer size, currently at a maximum of 30 days with national rice consumption estimated at 32,593 metric tons per day.
The IRR also calls for the establishment a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund and how P10 billion from the national budget can be transferred to implementing agencies.
Based on the rules, all government agencies such as the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Plant Industry no longer require an NFA permit, license or registration to trade and import the grain, the NEDA said.
The only requirement to import and trade rice, based on the rules, is a sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance (SPSIC) from the Bureau of Plant Industry, it said.