Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Local farmers have asked the government to impose anti-dumping duties and penalties on imported rice in a bid to address the undervaluation of the commodity following the new rice regime in the country.
The Federation of Free Farmers said an anti-dumping duty could be imposed if the imported commodity is sold at a price lower than its normal value in the exporting country. It must also be shown that the entry of the dumped product caused, or is threatening to cause, injury to a domestic sector. The anti-dumping duty is equivalent to the difference between the export price and the normal value in the exporting country and is applied on top of the regular tariff.
FFF national manager Raul Montemayor said data released by the Bureau of Customs indicate that the average landed cost of the imports was only $227 per metric ton compared to between $391 to $422, if based on internationally-published prices. The low valuation of rice imports resulted in tariff losses and may also contribute to the drastic decline in domestic palay prices.
Anti-dumping measures are governed by the Anti-Dumping Act of 1999, patterned after pertinent rules on anti-dumping in the World Trade Organization, wherein the Philippines is a founding member. Under the law, the agriculture secretary can initiate an anti-dumping investigation and the BOC may provisionally require importers to post a cash bond equivalent to the estimated dumping margin while a thorough evaluation of the anti-dumping complaint is undertaken.
Montemayor said anti-dumping measures may be a more effective deterrent to undervaluation and import surges than the so-called safeguard measures that are being proposed by other groups.
The impact of the rice tariffication on local farmers has already been significant but if dumping is not controlled, its impact could become severe. Duties and penalties could be imposed as a means of control and regulation and that is something government has to seriously consider if it is interested in protecting the Filipino farmer and our agriculture industry that has been suffering a continuous decline in recent years.*