Philippines lowers import tariffs on rice, pork hinh anh 1The Philippines is the world largest rice importer. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to reduce the tariffs on imported rice to ensure food security, and protect consumers in the world’s largest importer of the grain.

The Southeast Asian nation, which is battling elevated inflation, took into consideration the increase in global rice prices and uncertainties in local rice supply, the Presidential Office said in a statement.

In an executive order, Durterte cut the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff rates on rice to 35 percent from 40 percent for in-quota purchase, and 50 percent out-quota volume for one year to diversify the country’s market sources, augment rice supply, maintain prices affordable, and reduce pressures on inflation.

In January, the agriculture department projected to import at least 1.7 million tonnes of its staple food this year to fully cover domestic needs.

According to the government’s statistics, the country’s paddy rice output rose 2.6 percent to a record 19.3 million tonnes in 2020. The agriculture department targets unmilled rice output at 20.5 million tonnes this year.

However, more than 20 tropical storms hit the nation annually, with the strongest typhoons destroying crops like rice and corn in the second half, the peak harvest season.

Duterte also tweaked MFN tariff rates for pork products to 10 percent for in-quota purchases and 20 percent for out-quota volumes for the first three months, and 15 percent for in-quota, and 25 percent for out-quota from the 4th to the 12th month.

The Philippine government is rushing to address the shortage of pork supply, which was hit hard by the African Swine Fever outbreaks./.