Philippines - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers
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The Philippines maintains a two-tiered tariff policy for sensitive agricultural products, including rice, corn, pork, chicken meat, sugar, and coffee.  These products are subject to a tariff-rate quota (TRQ), and all imports outside the minimum access volume are taxed at a higher out-of-quota rate.  In-quota and out-of-quota tariff rates averaged 36.5% and 41.2%, respectively, and have not changed since 2005.

Feeling the pressure of rising prices and rice being a political crop, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. signed Executive Order (EO) No. 39, Series of 2023 on August 31, 2023.  EO No.39 mandated price ceilings on rice: PHP41 ($0.72) per kg for regular-milled rice and PHP45 ($0.79) per kg on well-milled rice.  These two categories make up approximately 90 percent of the rice market and the ceiling is well below market prices earlier this week. Republic Act No. 7581 or The Price Act, was cited as the basis for the EO.

On February 14, 2019, former President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Republic Act (RA) No. 11203 or “An Act liberalizing the importation, exportation, and trading of rice, lifting for the purpose the quantitative import restriction on rice, and for other purposes.”  The law amends RA No. 8178 or the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996, replacing quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice imports with tariffs. 

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. signed Executive Order 13 on January 13, 2023 extending the Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates for mechanically deboned or separated meat of chicken and turkey (MDM) of 5 percent through December 31, 2024.  EO 13 cites the need to maintain the reduced tariffs of MDM to ensure the continued supply of essential food at affordable prices, diversify the country’s sources, and help businesses recover and sustain their operations.

On December 29, 2022, President Marcos, Jr. signed Executive Order 10, series of 2022, extending lowered tariffs for corn, pork imports, and for rice imports to maintain affordable prices, ensure food security, help augment the supply of basic agricultural commodities, and diversify the country’s market sources.  Under the order, the tariff for fresh, chilled, or frozen pork will be 15 percent in-quota and 25 percent out-quota.  For corn, the tariff will be 5 percent in-quota and 15 percent out-quota. For rice, the tariff will be 35 percent both in-quota and out-quota.  The order is set to expire December 31, 2023, at which time the tariffs would revert to their previous higher rates unless they are again extended by executive order.

At present, a few TRQ products have achieved unified in-quota and out-of-quota tariff rates, including chicken, frozen or chilled (40%); turkey livers, frozen or chilled (40%); potatoes, fresh and chilled (40%); and roasted coffee beans (40%).  Currently, an additional special safeguard duty is in place for chicken meat, which effectively doubles the rate of out-of-quota tariff protection. Administrative Order (A.O.) 9 of 1996, as amended by A.O. 8 of 1997 and A.O. 1 of 1998, established rules for implementing TRQs and allocating import licenses.

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