The Bureau of Customs collected P17.9 billion in import duties from 2.8 million metric tons of rice shipments from Jan. 1 to Dec. 10 this year, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
Guerrero said revenues from rice imports during the period came from shipments worth a combined amount of P51.37 billion.
Preliminary data showed that import duties collected from Jan. 1 to Dec. 10 grew by 21.9 percent from P14.72 billion the agency collected in the same period in 2020.
“For the monitoring of rice imports, the table shows that for the period Dec. 1 to 10, 2021, volume of rice imports grew by 487.9 percent, while revenue also increased by 475.8 percent. Cumulatively, it grew by 23.4 percent in volume and 21.9 percent in revenue,” Guerrero said in a recent Department of Finance executive committee meeting.
The agency said that from Dec. 1 to 10, 2021, rice import volumes reached 118,656 MT, up from 20,181 MT recorded in the same period in 2020.
It said that from Jan. 1 to Dec. 10, the volume of rice imports totaled 2.797 million MT, up from 2.266 million MT imported a year earlier.
Guerrero said that as a result of the continuous decline of the price of rice in the world market since May 2021, the average value of rice per MT dropped 1.7 percent to P18,532 per MT for the period Jan. 1 to Dec. 10 from P18,854 per MT a year ago.
Import duties collected from rice imports beginning March 5, 2019 go to the annual P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund as provided under Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law.
The RCEF is used to finance programs that will sharpen the competitiveness of palay growers by way of providing them easy access to fertilizer, farm machinery and equipment, high-yield seeds and cheap credit; and offering skills training programs on farm mechanization and modern farming techniques.