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DA counters rice shortage claim, confirms supply for 45 days

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol

MANILA, Philippines – There is no shortage of rice supply.

This was the assurance of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol amid speculations of supply shortage eventually causing price hike in rice.

Tumaas ang presyo ng bigas at ang mga traders naman in response doon sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bigas, nagpaligsahan sa pagbili ng what ever the available harvest there was,” the Secretary said.

Earlier today, Piñol met with rice industry stakeholders including farmers, dealers and retailers to confirm the true state of the country’s rice supply as well as the movement of rice prices in local markets at present.

Piñol said, though they assured that there is enough supply of rice in the country, the overall buffer stock, comprised of those stocked in households, those out in commercial markets and those inside the warehouses of the National Food Authority (NFA), is enough for nationwide consumption of only up to 45 days.

The Agriculture Secretary explained that there were delays in deliveries of imported rice because of port congestion and successive days of monsoon rain.

He noted that because of the speculations, the price of commercial rice shot up.

Meanwhile, rice millers assured that there is no hoarding of supply at this time.

 “Some millers from Central Luzon, ang supply nila nanggagaling sa amin. Pag bumili sila sa amin binibigyan namin sila ng palay para meron silang ma-mill dito sa Central Luzon. Iyon ang actual na nangyayari sa Isabela kaya there is no hoarding,” explained Ernesto Suvia of Golden Harvest Rice Mill.

For now, the DA said they trust the traders and millers that rice supply in the country is indeed enough.

However, the agency said they still have to validate if such state is true.

“But I told them that government reserves the right to validate. And validation would mean the inspection of their warehouses with warning that anybody caught hoarding rice will be prosecuted and the stocks will be confiscated,” Secretary Piñol warned.

Meanwhile, the DA is now contemplating on another importation of rice supply in preparation for the possible effects of el niño that is likely to occur in the last quarter of the year. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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NFA, DTI to check local markets over implementation of SRP in rice

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The National Food Authority (NFA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will conduct inspections of local markets to make sure the suggested retail price (SRP) in rice is religiously implemented.

According to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, they will tap the service of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to join them in the inspection of Metro Manila markets.

Piñol said first time offenders will be warned but those who will refuse to adhere with the order on SRP for the second time will be fined or sanctioned.

“It’s a written warning that the first step. The second would be penalties na, cancellation of license, penalties under the Price Act pati na ang criminal liability,” the Agriculture Secretary warned. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Retailers want a special window for rice imports in BOC

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

(file photo)

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A total of 13 companies signified their interest to join the bidding to be set by the National Food Authority (NFA) for the 500,000 metric tons of rice imports.

The NFA has allotted up to P12B fund for the importation and the rice supply is expected to be delivered in the months of December this year and January next year.

The said rice imports are estimated at a price of P24 per kilogram.

The agreement, likewise, includes specific conditions including fumigation against pests especially rice weevils.

The NFA stressed that fumigation is the responsibility of the supplier even after the imported rice reached Manila ports.

“Iyong reckoning ng ownership ng stocks babayaran ng NFA at the quantity and the quality received doon sa pile sa warehouse na na-designate natin,” explained NFA Spokesperson Angel Imperial.

The NFA will also send inspectors to countries of origin to check on the quality of the rice imports before they are loaded in shipping vessels for delivery.

Retailers said they support the government’s effort to import additional rice buffer stocks which they believe helps stabilize rice prices in local markets.

“Masaya kami kung ito ay magtatagumpay para sa atin. Kasi tuloy tuloy talaga na yung presyo bigas mai-stabilize natin,” said Orlando Manuntag, the press officer of the Grain Retailers Confederation of the Philippines (GRECON).

However, the group calls for faster release of rice imports from ports to avoid long delays.

“Ma-suggest natin siguro sa NFA council na kausapin ang Bureau of Customs and then yung Pier Harbor na kapag NFA rice ang karga ng barko ay bigyan talaga ng priority para di naman masaktan yung mga exporter natin,” Manuntag concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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DA to fast track rice importation, works on offering P38/kg of rice

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The bidding on the next phase of rice importation will open next week.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol wants to make sure that there will be no more depletion of buffer stocks of rice in National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses.

The Secretary said the importation will be through government to government (G2G) to make the transaction faster.

Last week, the NFA held the bidding for the 250,000 metric tons or 5 million bags of rice to be imported through government to private procurement. However, the agency awarded the contract for 43,000MT only because the bidders couldn’t afford the price offered by the NFA.

By G2G means the Philippine government will directly transact and procure rice from governments like Thailand and Vietnam. This will facilitate speedy processing of the remaining 207,000MT of rice.

After which, the NFA will immediately proceed with the importation of additional 500,000MT of rice or 10 million bags from private bidders.

“We’re still projecting that there would be at least 2 or 3 more typhoons before the end of the year and we don’t want to be caught in a situation where in face of calamities, the NFA will not be able to provide the rice that the DSWD would need,” Piñol said.

Meanwhile, the NFA has already procured 8,000MT or about 160,000 bags of rice from local farmers.

Piñol expects that the government will be able to buy from local farmers 30,000MT before end of 2018.

Meanwhile, the NFA together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) will soon launch the “Presyong Resonable Dapat” program aims at offering P38/kg of commercial rice in local markets.

They will deliver 350,000MT of rice in rice outlets so that consumers will be able to buy much cheaper rice at P38/kg.

This is apart from the implementation of the suggested retail price (SRP) in rice on October 27.

Secretary Piñol as always warns retailers of facing charges should they proceed with overpricing or violating the SRP.

“If they sell a fake Dinorado or if they use the word Senandomeng when the actual rice being sold is not that variety, they will be covered by the price act and the penalty will be between P2,000 to P1M,” Piñol warned. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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