A spike in global rice prices countered a drop in the volume of imported rice, benefiting state coffers with bigger revenues from tariffs, the Bureau of Customs reported.
A total of 10.7 billion pesos was raised from rice tariffs as of July 17, up 8% year-on-year from 9.9 billion pesos.
The amount already surpassed the 10 billion pesos mandated to be allocated to the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund under the Rice Tariffication Law earmarked for projects targeted at improving local rice production.
Under the law, the government is allowed to redirect to other farm programs any windfall revenues from rice levies during the first six years of the law enacted last year. Last year, part of the 12.3 billion pesos generated went to fund cash transfers to poor farmers.
Collections rose despite a 25% drop in the volume of imported rice so far this year. The lockdown crippled trade activity and put imports almost to a standstill.