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Philippine rice tariff cut will benefit Vietnam, not farmers, experts say

MANILA -- The Philippines, the world's top rice importer, is moving to cut tariffs on the staple food from 35% to 15% through 2028 to ease the country's inflation woes. But analysts worry the move could benefit foreign producers such as Vietnam and leave Filipino farmers struggling to compete.

The decision was announced Tuesday, following a meeting of an inter-agency panel headed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The move will lower prices for rice to "make it more affordable," Arsenio Balisacan, head of the National Economic and Development Authority, said in a statement.