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Philippines has surpassed China as the largest rice importer in the world.

According to US Department of Agriculture data, it shows that the Philippines imports 3 million metric tons of rice by 2019 under the Rice Tariffication Law compared to the 2.5 million metric tons imported by China

However, the Philippine Department of Agriculture has questioned the findings in the US.  According to them, 1.87 million metric tons of rice was imported by the Philippines until Oct.  23, this is according to data gathered from the Bureau of Customs.

The collected tariffs on rice imports amounted to 11.3 billion pesos.

Noel Reyes, DA Spokesperson, said the Philippines' increase in rice imports is just a short-term effect on the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law.  He added that the decline in the price of rice is expected because after the importation of imports and the subsequent successive yields, the prices have actually dropped.  But with rice they do not expect the price to go down.

The Department of Agriculture continues to uphold the Rice Tariffication Law as it is for the benefit of Filipino farmers.  According to the law, around 10 billion pesos has been generated from tariffs, which is divided into mechanisms, technical assistance, loans to farmers and the distribution of rice seeds.

Some rice retailers are also complaining of the loss of their customers due to the continued decline in rice prices.

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