SEARCA gathers experts to discuss policy implications of the Philippine Rice Tariffication Law in Southeast Asia

  • By Bernice Anne C. Darvin
  • 8 November 2019, Friday

MAKATI CITY, Philippines – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research and Agriculture (SEARCA) will be hosting a parallel session entitled, Regional Implications of the Philippine Rice Tariffication Law, during the Inaugural Rice Research Symposium organized by the The Rice Trader (TRT) to be held on 13 November 2019 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. The Research Symposium is part of the TRT's 11th World Rice Conference.

Republic Act 11203, otherwise known as the Rice Tariffication Law, has recently been passed in the Philippines with the purpose of lifting existing quantitative import restrictions on rice. With the current influx of imported rice and the consequent plunge in domestic farmgate prices, the Rice Tariffication Law has amassed mixed reactions from various stakeholders of the local rice industry, raising the question as to whether it is indeed beneficial for the Philippine rice industry. Nonetheless, the current push for the establishment of an ASEAN common market has steered regional strategies toward promoting and strengthening intra-ASEAN trade and market integration. Whether this law will help the Philippines reap the gains from international trade and make our local farmers more competitive in the local and international markets is the question the session aims to answer.

The parallel session will assess the policy implications on regional trade, rice reserves, food security, agriculture and rural development, and rice farmers' income and competitiveness in relation to the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law. Representatives from relevant sectors will be invited to provide a multi-stakeholder perspective on this current issue.

Dr. Roehlano M. Briones, Senior Research Fellow of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) will serve as the Technical Coordinator of the session. Other experts invited as panelists are: Dr. Ramon L. Clarete of the UP School of Economics (UPSE), Mr. Jerry E. Pacturan of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Asia Pacific Division, Mr. Cresente C. Paez of the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), Ms. Jansinee Kankaew of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Secretariat, and Mr. Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore.