The Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research and Agriculture (SEARCA) will host a session on Regional Implications of the Philippine Rice Tariffication Law during the Inaugural Rice Research Symposium on November 13, 2019 at the Makati Shangri-La. The Research Symposium is part of the 11th World Rice Conference organized by The Rice Trader (TRT).

Republic Act 11203, also 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.

Meanwhile, 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 the new law will help the Philippines reap the gains from international trade and make Filipino farmers more competitive in the local and international markets is the question the session aims to answer.

The SEARCA 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 provide a multi-stakeholder perspective on the issue.

The technical coordinator of the session is Dr. Roehlano M. Briones, Senior Research Fellow of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). The 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.