The Bureau of Customs (BOC) zipped past its P10-billion rice tariff collection target for 2020, taking in P10.728 billion as of July 17.
The collection was achieved despite the 24.6% year-on-year decline in rice import volume to 1,651.267 metric tons.
The January-July 17 collection was also 8% higher than the same period last year’s take of P9.936 billion.
For full year 2019, BOC likewise surpassed its target, bringing in cash revenues of P12.3 billion from 2.03 million metric tons of private sector imports.
BOC attributed the increase in rice tariff collection to the agency’s “continuous effort to protect government revenue and ensure correct valuation of goods.”
The agency said it has consistently conducted close monitoring of the declared value of rice importations “in view of its strict adherence to global published prices for rice which serves as a guide when the veracity of the declared values is under dispute.”
The tariff collection target is part of BOC’s commitment under Republic Act No. 11203, or the Rice Tariffication Law, which took effect last year and shifted the country from quantitative restrictions to tariffs, leading to a surge in importation of the staple.
The P10 billion will be remitted to the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund and other concerned agencies. The RCEF is meant to improve rice farmers’ competitiveness and income amid liberalization of the Philippine rice trade policy.