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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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GIS EXCLUSIVE: DA’s Piñol relieves 2 NFA execs in Region 3

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol during his interview with UNTV’s Get it Straight with Daniel Razon

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines –Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has relieved from their positions the Region 3 director of the National Food Authority (NFA) and the agency’s manager in Bulacan.

This was after the Secretary discovered hundreds of thousands of rice bags inside big warehouses in their area during a surprise inspection in Marilao, Bulacan.

“Today, actually I have ordered the relief of the director in Region 3, NFA. And I have also ordered the relief of the manager of NFA Bulacan. Sapagkat ako, hindi ako naniniwala na hindi nila alam kung ang bodega diyan na may itinatagong bigas,” Piñol said during an interview with the program “Get it Straight with Daniel Razon” on Monday (September 24).

Based on its website, the agency’s regional director for Region 3 is Piolito C. Santos and the NFA’s manager for Bulacan is Elvira C. Obaña.

The DA has previously announced a P250,000 bounty for whoever who could provide information against rice hoarding in the country.

During the interview, Secretary Piñol also announced his plan to formalize the creation of a task force that will conduct a nationwide inspection of warehouses in the country.

The task force will be headed by the current head of DA’s Internal Affairs Division retired Marine Colonel Danilo Luna.

The team will be working with representatives from the DILG, PNP, and BOC among others.

According to Secretary Piñol, the move is part of DA’s intensified crackdown against rice hoarders.

Those who will be caught hoarding rice supply will have their stocks confiscated and are likely to face life imprisonment for charges of economic sabotage. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

 

 

 

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UNTV EXCLUSIVE: DA to propose a ban on importation of ‘fancy rice’ next year

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol during a market inspection at the Commonwealth Market in Quezon City, September 20, 2018 | UNTV News & Rescue

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Following the official return of the National Food Authority (NFA) under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Secretary Manny Piñol checked on the prices of basic goods, particularly rice, at the Commonwealth Market on Thursday, September 20.

During the inspection, Piñol expressed relief that the traders have complied as agreed on the price of several vegetables such as onions.

Red and white onions now sell at P50 to P60 per kilogram from the previous prices of P100 to P120 per kilogram.

“Hanggang P60 pwede nilang ibenta so mababa parin doon sa ating pinagkasunduan na dapat ibenta nila ng P65,” he said in an exclusive interview with UNTV.

However, he expressed dismay over the price of well-milled rice which still stands at P55 per kilogram.

The Secretary said his priority now as the new chair of the NFA Council is to solve the rice “mess” and lower the price by increasing the volume of NFA rice in the market.

“The only way we could address this problem is to flood the market with NFA rice…Ito lang ang panlaban natin para makontrol natin ang pagmanipula ng mga traders saka mga middlemen ng presyo sa merkado,” he said citing his conversation with President Rodrigo Duterte following him taking over the NFA.

Piñol said he already has the President’s go signal to push through with more importation of rice to full load all NFA rice outlets in the country.

“Sabi ng pangulo punuin ko ang (mga) bodega. Pupunuin ko ang (mga) bodega. P12B pa ang pera ng NFA,” he said.

Secretary Piñol added that aside from increasing the supply, he will also propose a ban on the importation of “fancy rice” next year.

“What is happening is, instead of bringing down the price, iyong imported rice ngayon na fancy rice: Jasmine, long grains, are actually being sold at as much as P58 per kilo. So nasaan ang murang presyo?” he said.

“Next year dapat hindi na pwedeng mag-import ng fancy rice. Hayaan natin ang mga Pilipinong magsasaka na magtanim ng magandang klase ng palay para ang bigas ay mabenta ng maganda. At ang ating imported na bigas dapat pantapal lang sa kakulangan  ng ating supply at hindi kailangan fancy rice,” he added. — Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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Duterte signs EO putting NFA under DA amid rice woes

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Image courtesy of PCOO/ROBINSON NIÑAL JR.

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Wednesday, September 19, the executive order (EO) returning the National Food Authority (NFA) under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Aside from the N FA, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA) were also returned to their mother agency.

Signed by the President on September 17, 2018, and released by Malacañang on Wednesday, September 19, Executive Order No. 62 also reorganizes the NFA Council and assigns the Agriculture Secretary as its chairman while the NFA Administrator is the vice chairman.

The order came amid problems hounding the  NFA,  particularly the non-stop increase in rice prices and budget issues, and shortly after Jason Aquino requested to be relieved from the position of NFA administrator as revealed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

In 2014, former president Benigno Aquino III placed the three agencies under the Office of the President through EO No. 165.

In 2016, they were then placed under the Office of the Cabinet Secretary by President Duterte. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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