Extension of Import Limit on Rice : A successful meeting between the Philippines and concerned countries was held in Geneva about limiting the rice import extension.
The Philippines is the world largest rice buyer. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said that the formal approval on restriction of rice import by WTO could come upto the end of J July.The restriction on rice import is to control the rice prices. Mr. Alcala said.This will allow for an increase in the minimum access volume (MAV) and the continued imposition of a 40% tariff on imports within the 350,000MT MAV and 50% outside of the quota, but he didn’t unveiled about how MAV would increased.
With the Association of Southeast Asian Nation’s economic integration plan, rice sourced from within the region would be slapped with a 35% levy.
The Philippines imports most of its rice from fellow ASEAN member Vietnam, which is the second largest exporter of grains after India.
If the restrictions on the rice import will removed then it will be a hot trade issue in the Philippines as it would be against the government plan to keep the high tariffs to protect local farmers and the country’s commitment to support the removal of global trade barriers
In April, the WTO said the Philippines had asked for a waiver of its commitment to open its rice market, with Indonesia, India, Vietnam and China supporting the request. At that time, Thailand, Canada, Australia and the US were still consulting with the Philippines
The National Food Authority of Philippnes is buying a total of 1.3 million tons of Vietnamese rice,free on board basis,which is its biggest purchase since 2010, to boost dwindling stockpiles and curb increases in local prices.
Since The government failed to meet its end-2013 rice inventory and self-sufficiency targets ,it blamed natural calamities last year, including a super typhoon, for the tight local supply.