Rethinking Rice Policy: Philippine Rice Tariffication as a Win-Win-Win Policy for the Poor, Consumers and Farmers

12 Pages Posted: 27 May 2018

See all articles by Roehlano Briones

Roehlano Briones

Philippine Institute for Development Studies

Jerome Patrick Cruz

Department of Economics, Ateneo de Manila University; Ateneo de Manila University

Ronald U. Mendoza

Ateneo De Manila University - Ateneo School of Government

Date Written: May 17, 2018

Abstract

No other food is more central to Filipinos’ diets than rice, yet no food poses a greater burden on poor and near-poor Filipinos’ budgets. According to the 2015 Family Income and Expenditure Survey, the poorest 20% of households’ rice expenditures alone accounted for more than 19% of their total budgets, whereas it was only 5% of expenditures for the richest 20% of Filipino households. The Duterte administration has a window of opportunity to address this situation by shifting away from a rice importation regime based on quantitative restrictions (i.e. import quotas) to one based on moderate rice tariffs.

In this policy brief, we summarize evidence which on balance indicates that approving this rice tariffication reform is likely to be a win-win-win measure for Filipinos and the Philippine economy at large. Specifically, adopting moderate tariffs on rice imports, we find, would benefit poor and near-poor consumers, workers, industry, and even rice farmers themselves, should revenues from the tariffs be earmarked for spending on safety nets and social protection measures, as well as a productivity enhancement fund dedicated to rice farmers, to be managed on a participatory basis.

Keywords: Rice Policy, Rice Tariffication, Philippines

JEL Classification: N55, O13, Q17

Suggested Citation

Briones, Roehlano and Cruz, Jerome Patrick and Mendoza, Ronald U., Rethinking Rice Policy: Philippine Rice Tariffication as a Win-Win-Win Policy for the Poor, Consumers and Farmers (May 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3179891 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3179891

Roehlano Briones

Philippine Institute for Development Studies ( email )

NEDA sa Makati Bldg.
106 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village
Manilla, NCR 1229
Philippines

Jerome Patrick Cruz

Department of Economics, Ateneo de Manila University ( email )

P.O. Box 154
Manila
Philippines

Ateneo de Manila University ( email )

P.O. Box 154
Manila
Philippines

Ronald U. Mendoza (Contact Author)

Ateneo De Manila University - Ateneo School of Government ( email )

Katipunan Road
Loyola Heights
Quezon City, 1108
Philippines

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