IRR FOR RICE TARIFF BILL OUT SOON
While the bill seeks to empower the farmers, there have been apprehensions from the side of rice traders
The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 11203, an act that lifts restrictions on rice importations, is set to be released soon following a series of con- sultations around the country.
Atty. Rhaegee Tamaña, Director 5 of the Office of the Senator Committee on Agriculture and Food, said they have been going around rice producing regions to discuss the salient points of the law and determine the sentiments of the rice traders and farmers.
“We want to know how will they craft it and ano ang sentiment ng mga tao para pag frame ng IRR, ma-capture ang sentiments (We want to know their sentiments, which will hopefully be captured by the IRR),” she said.
They had their third leg of consultations in Davao City yesterday. The consultation not only gathered rice farmers and traders from Davao Region but also throughout Mindanao. They previously had consultations in Lipa, Batangas and Nueva Ecija. They will be meeting farmers and traders today in Iloilo.
So far, Tamaña said reception from traders have not been welcoming. She pointed out that traders make up most of the attendees at the consultations.
“Ang concern nila mawawalan ng power yung NFA (National Food Authority) to import. They also depend income from the government,” she said.
She said there is already a draft IRR.
Tamaña said they target to release the IRR by March 5. However, with the recent sentiments aired during their consultations, she said they may not meet the target date.
Meanwhile, Tamaña said whatever amount that will be generated from the tariffs will directly benefit the farmers.
She said through the bill they hope to strengthen the farmers by providing support in terms of mechanization and seed propagation. Trainings will also be given to the farmers.
In the law, the Bureau of Customs will also be compelled to implement is National Single Window Program. Section 6 of the law states that this is neccessary to ensure the accurate collection of tariff.