The Bureau of Customs collected P15.494 billion in revenues from 2.38 million metric tons of rice imported by private traders in 2020, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said over the weekend.
Guerrero said in a recent Department of Finance executive committee meeting the BOC improved its valuation system for rice imports, raising the tariff value of the grain to 7 percent on average in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Data showed the average tariffed value of rice increased to P20,320 per MT in 2020 from P18,980 in 2019, Guerrero said in a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during the meeting.
Guerrero said this improvement in valuation was the result of the BOC paying particular attention to the classification, quantity and weight of rice stocks imported by private traders under the Rice Tariffication Law.
He also reported a significant increase of P301.5 million or 51.7 percent in revenues from rice imports in December, which amounted to P885.05 million, compared to P583.58 million in the same month in 2019.
Revenues collected by BOC under the RTL reached P12.31 billion from 2.03 million MT of rice imports in 2019.
Another P9.28 billion was collected from 1.1 million MT of rice imported prior to the March 2019 implementation of the RTL.
All import duties collected from rice imports under the RTL go to the annual P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.
The RCEF is used to finance programs that aim to sharpen the competitiveness of rice growers by providing them access to farm machinery and equipment, high-yield seeds, cheap credit and skills training programs on farm mechanization and modern farming techniques.
Annual tariff revenues from rice imports in excess of P10 billion are earmarked by the Congress―and included in the national budget of the following year―for financial assistance to rice farmers, titling of agricultural lands, an expanded crop insurance program on rice and crop diversification.