Sections 7-20

New Sections

Sec. 7. Powers of the President

The President can:

  • a) increase, reduce, revise, or adjust existing rates of import duty up to the bound rate committed by the Philippines under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and under the ATIGA, including any necessary change in classification applicable to the importation of rice: Provided, That the power herein delegated to the President shall only be exercised when Congress is not in session: Provided, further, That any order issued by the President adjusting the applied tariff rates shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication

  • b) In the event of any imminent or forecasted shortage, or such other situation requiring government intervention, the President is empowered for a limited period and/or a specified volume, to allow the importation at a lower applied tariff rate to address the situation. Such order shall take effect immediately and can only be issued when Congress is not in session; and

  • c) In case the calculated out-quota tariff rate referred to under Section 6(c) of this Act exceeds one hundred percent (100%), the provision of Paragraph 1, Section 1608(a) of the CMTA shall also not apply.

These powers delegated to the President may be terminated by Congress through a Joint Resolution.

Sec. 7-A. Trade Negotiation Authority

The President may enter into trade negotiations or renegotiations of the Philippine international trade commitments on rice.

Sec. 8. Maintenance of Rice Buffer Stock

The NFA shall, in accordance with the rules, regulations and procedures to be promulgated, maintain sufficient rice buffer stock to be sourced solely from local farmers.

Sec. 9. Lifting of Quantitative Export Restrictions on Rice

Laws, rules, regulations, guidelines, and other issuances imposing quantitative export restrictions on rice are hereby repealed.

The exportation of rice shall be allowed in accordance with the established redes, regulations and guidelines.

Sec. 10. Special Rice Safeguard

In order to protect against sudden or extreme price fluctuations, a special safeguard duty on rice shall be imposed in accordance with RA 8800 (Safeguard Measures Act)

Sec. 11. Mechanism for the Implementation of Minimum Access Volume (MAV)

An equitable and transparent mechanism for allocating the MAV of agricultural products whose quantitative restrictions are herein lifted, shall be developed and established, having the least government intervention, addressing the requirements of each geographical area, and without entailing any cost to importers/users of these products to the detriment of local consumers and other end-users.

Rice MAV will revert to its 2012 level at 350k metric tons as indicated in the Philippine commitment to the WTO.

Sec. 12. Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund

The Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund is created, consisting of all duties collected from the importation of agricultural products, except rice, under the MAV mechanism, including unused balances and collections from repayments from loan beneficiaries including interests, if any.

The Fund shall be automatically credited to Special Account in the General Fund of the National Treasury: Provided, That fund releases shall not be subject to any ceiling bv the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Sec. 13. Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund

This ‘Rice Fund’ is created, consisting of an annual appropriation of 10b pesos for the next 6 years following the approval of this Act. It shall be automatically credited to a Special Account in the General Fund of the National Treasury which shall be in place within 90 days upon the effectivity of this Act.

At the end of the 6th year, a mandatory review shall be conducted by the Congressional Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization (COCAFM) to determine whether the Rice Fund and its use as provided for under this Act shall be continued, amended, or terminated.

The COCAFM shall utilize the increase or decrease in farmers’ incomes as a primary benchmark in determining the effectiveness of the interventions under the program and its possible extension.

The Secretary of Agriculture shall be accountable and responsible for the Rice Fund in coordination with other government agencies concerned.1âwphi1

The amount allocated shall be released directly to the implementing agencies as provided for in this Act based on the objectives and plans of the rice industry roadmap: Provided, That the unutilized portion of the Rice Fund allocated to the implementing agencies shall not revert to the General Fund but shall continue to be used for the purpose for which it was set aside.

Fund releases charged against the Rice Fund shall not be subject to any ceiling by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Any program undertaken in accordance with this Act shall only be deemed complementary and supplementary to and shall not be a replacement of any existing programs for rice and rice farmers already implemented by the DA and other agencies concerned.

Subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations, the Rice Fund shall be allocated and disbursed to rice producing areas, as follows:

  • a) Rice Farm Machineries and Equipment

50%) of the Rice Fund shall be released to and implemented by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) as grant in kind to eligible farmers associations, registered rice cooperatives and local government units (LGUs), in the form of rice farm equipment, such as tillers, tractors, seeders, threshers, rice planters, harvesters, irrigation pumps, small solar irrigation, reapers, driers, millers, and the like, for purposes of improving farm mechanization: Provided, That the PHilMech shall, whenever feasible, procure from accredited local manufacturers to assist in the promotion of locally manufactured farm machineries and equipment;

  • b) Rice Seed Development, Propagation and Promotion – Thirty percent (30%) of the Rice Fund shall be released to and implemented by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and shall be used for the development, propagation and promotion of inbred rice seeds to rice farmers and the organization of rice farmers into seed growers associations and/or cooperatives engaged in seed production and trade:

  • c) Expanded Rice Credit Assistance

10% of the Rice Fund shall be made available in the form of credit facility with minimal interest rate-s and with minimum collateral requirements to rice farmers and cooperatives, to be managed equally by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)

  • d) Rice Extension Services

10% of the Rice Fund shall be made available for the extension services provided by PHilMech, PhilRice, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and TESDA for teaching skills on rice crop production, modern rice farming techniques, seed production, farm mechanization, and knowledge/technology transfer through farm schools nationwide as follows:

  • 70% to TESDA
  • 10% each to ATI, PhilRice and PHilMech.

This is as long as:

  • the percentage allocation will be reviewed on the 3rd year of the effectivity of this Act for possible revisions should intervention priorities change

  • preferential attention should be given to rice farmers, cooperatives and associations adversely affected by the tariffication of the quantitative import restriction on rice in accordance with the thrust and priorities of RA 8435, as amended, otherwise known as the ‘Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act’ and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP). The increase or decrease of farmers’ incomes shall be the primary benchmark in granting these interventions.

  • if the annual tariff revenues from rice importation exceeds 10b pesos in any given year within the 6-year period following the effectivity of this Act, the excess tariff revenues shall be earmarked by Congress and included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of the following year:

    • a) Rice Farmer Financial Assistance – A portion of the excess rice tariff revenues shall be released to the DA and shall be used for providing direct financial assistance to rice farmers who are farming 2 hectares and below regardless of whether they continue farming rice or not as compensation for the projected reduction or loss of farm income arising from the tariffication of the quantitative import restrictions on rice;
    • b) Titling of Agricultural Rice Lands – A portion of the excess rice tariff revenues shall be released to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Land Registration Authority (LRA). and shall be used for the subdivision and titling of agricultural rice lands or parts thereof awarded to farmer-beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and other similar programs of the government:
    • c) Expanded Crop Insurance Program on Rice – A portion of the excess tariff revenues shall be released to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) and shall be used for the provision of crop insurance to qualified rice farmer-beneficiaries under « its existing agricultural insurance programs; and
    • d) Crop Diversification Program – A portion of the excess tariff revenues shall be released to the DA and shall be used for productivity-enhancement programs for rice farmers seeking to diversify production towards other crops.

The Congressional Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization (COCAFM) shall conduct a periodic review of the use of the Rice Fund.

Sec. 14. Beneficiaries of the Rice Fund

The beneficiaries shall be those farmers and farmworkers and their dependents listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), and rice cooperatives and associations accredited by the DA.

Within 180 days from the effectivity of this Act, the DA in consultation with farmers’ cooperatives and organizations and LGUs, shall validate and update the masterlist of eligible beneficiaries to ensure that those listed are legitimate farmers, farmworkers and rice cooperatives and associations.

In order to focus on the targeted rice farmer beneficiaries, cooperatives and associations for the Rice Fund, the list of rice producing provinces and LGUs, as provided for by PhilRice as of 2015-2018. shall, be the basis and shall be added to the roadmap as an appendix.

Sec. 15. Rice Industry Roadmap

The DA, together with the NEDA, DOF, DBM, DAR, National Irrigation Administration (NIA), TESDA, PCIC, National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Farmer Sectoral Council Representative and other government agencies concerned, including rice farmer representatives, shall be given a maximum of 180 days to formulate and adopt the rice roadmap to restructure the government‘s delivery of support services for the agricultural rice sector.

The following principles shall govern the development and implementation of the roadmap for the rice industry:

  • a) Raise sustainable investments in the rice industry particularly on rice support infrastructure and post-harvest facilities
  • b) Improve the productivity, efficiency and profitability of small rice farmers and landless farmworkers
  • c) Strengthen research and development programs that will enhance the resiliency of the rice industry
  • d) Preserve and enhance the rice production capabilities of future generations
  • e) Provide accessible, targeted and technology-oriented support services that cover the entire value chain
  • f) Set up responsible, participatory and effective governance mechanisms
  • g) Address impact of income loss caused by rice tariffication.

The rice industry roadmap shall be implemented through a complementation of the DA‘s rice sector programs as funded by the GAA, and the Rice Fund created under this Act.

Sec. 16. National Single Window Program

To ensure the accurate collection of tariff as provided in Section 6 of this Act, the National Single Window (NSW) program of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) shall be implemented within 180 days from the effectivity of this Act, in accordance with EO 482.

Section 17. Implementing Rules and Regulations

Within 45 days from Act effectivity, the DA, NEDA and DBM shall, in coordination with DAR, DENR, NIA, LRA, PCIC, PHilMech, PhilRice, TESDA, LBP, DBP, ATI, and other government agencies concerned , promulgate the rules and regulations to effectively implement the provisions of this Act.

Section 18. Separability Clause

If any portion of this Act is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the portions or provisions which are not affected shall continue to be in full force and effect.

Section 19. Repealing Clause

All laws, decrees, executive issuances, rules and regulations inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 20. Effectivity

This Act shall take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.