The Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11203 otherwise known as the Rice Tariffication Law was signed by the representatives of the Department of Agriculture, National Economic and Development Authority and Department of Budget and Management in a Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1-2019 dated March 28, 2019.
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Rice Tariffication Law clarified the following matters, among others, to wit:
- The National Food Authority will make sure that its buffer stock is at “optimal level”, taking also into consideration the provisions for emergency situations and disaster relief operations;
- The rice inventory or buffer stock held by the National Food Authority is only for Fifteen (15) days to Thirty (30) days’ worth;
- The National Food Authority will carry on its usual duty to survey commercial rice stock up only until December 2019. The Philippine Statistics Authority will start conducting said survey by July 1, 2020;
- The IRR clarifies that in addition to issuing sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSIC), the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will also maintain a trail of incoming rice and post on their website a list of accredited importers, along with the volume of rice they will import.
- Only traders who are members of the Department of Agriculture Trade System can apply for the SPSIC.
- Imported rice should arrive in the country before the SPSIC expires. The IRR does not state the consequences if the rice imports are delayed.
- Complementing the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), the IRR also mandates that a new rice road map will be crafted within 180 days;
- The President has the power to intervene, upon the recommendation of the NEDA Board and the NFA Council to “adjust existing rates of import duty up to the bound rate committed by the Philippines under the WTO (World Trade Organization) Agreement on Agriculture and under the ATIGA (ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement).” Said power of the President to is only available if Congress is not in session.
Download the full text of the IRR of RA 11203: