February 26, 2024

The extension of the reduced Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates for key agricultural commodities will help keep prices of food stable, the National Economic and Development Authority said.

Executive Order (EO) 50, issued by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Dec. 22, extended the reduced MFN tariff rates on pork, corn, and rice until Dec. 31, 2024.

Under the EO, the tariff rates for pork will remain at 15 percent in-quota and 25 percent out-quota, corn will be at five percent in-quota and 15 percent out-quota, and rice at 35 percent for both in-quota and out-quota for the extended period.

NEDA Sec. Arsenio Balisacan said there is a need to diversify market sour-ces to ensure sufficient and affordable food supply in the country.

He said this will help reduce the risks and alleviate the inflationary pressures caused by the onset of El Niño, the worsening effects of the African swine fever, and external pressures.

Balisacan said the reduction in tariff rates helped pull down corn inflation and broaden sources for rice.

Additional meat importation also helped in reducing meat inflation.

Balisacan cited the importance of implementing programs that will enhance local food production and boost the productivity of farmers.

“Short- and long-term interventions need to work together to protect the purchasing power of Filipino households and boost the productivity and income of local producers. Doing so will ensure equitable and sustainable development for the country,” Balisacan said. – PNA