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The Philippines is inching closer to finally scrapping the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice after a substitute bill mandating its abolition has been approved by a technical working group (TWG) in the House of Representatives.
The TWG created by the House Committee on Agriculture and Food approved on Wednesday the substitute bill that would amend Republic Act (RA) 8178, or the Agricultural Tariffication Act, the law which enabled the government to impose the rice QR since 1996.
Under the substitute bill, a copy of which was obtained by the BusinessMirror, the Philippines will impose a 400-percent bound tariff rate on imported rice once the QR on the staple is abolished.
“In lieu of the QR on rice, the maximum bound rate shall be as notified by the Philippines to the [World Trade Organization, or WTO],” the substitute bill read.
The House Committee on Agriculture and Food will deliberate over the substitute bill once Congress resumes session after its Halloween break.