DA to fast track rice importation, works on offering P38/kg of rice
Marje Pelayo • October 25, 2018 • 2295
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
MANILA, Philippines – Retailers and government agencies may now purchase rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) at a reduced price of P25/kg, instead of P27/kg.
Such measure aims at expediting the disposal of NFA’s current buffer stocks, said DA Secretary William Dar.
“Para mas magaan, mas mabilis ang paglabas ng mgaimported rice stocks [of the] National Food Authority,” he said.
Agencies which can avail the reduced price of NFA rice include the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Bureau of Corrections (Bucor), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and local government units (LGUs).
Meanwhile, retailers may also get an even lower price per kilogram of NFA rice at P23 instead of P25/kg.
However, this will still be sold to end-consumers at P27/kg thus retailers will be able to gain P200 higher profit for each sack of rice.
Rice retailer Teresita Terado said the disposal of NFA rice still depends on consumer preference.
“Ang taong-bayan naman ang bibili nyan, hindi naman kami. Kahit i-push namin siya kung hindi naman siya mabenta,(It’s the consumers who buy [the NFA rice] not us. We can’t push them to buy it if they don’t want to),” Terado, a rice retailer at Commonwealth Market, said.
But Teresita said there is not much difference between regular commercial rice and NFA rice when it comes to quality.
Consumer group Laban Konsyumer criticized the government’s economic managers for rejecting their proposal, which according to the group’s president Atty. Vic Dimagiba, led to the current state of NFA rice in the country.
“Our proposal was ignored because the economic managers believe then that the imported rice will bring down prices to 32 pesos a kilogram. That didn’t happen,” Dimagiba said.
“What’s happening now is a sort of deja vu. Cramming and bringing back NFA to the market actively,” he added.
Based on the NFA’s October 17 data, there are still 2.5 million sacks of imported rice for disposal in the agency’s warehouses.
Such imported rice shipment was last contracted in December 2018 and its delivery was completed in February 2019. — MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has sought the assistance of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in enforcing quarantine checkpoints in Mindanao.
In a letter addressed to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año and PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde, MinDA Chief Secretary Manny Piñol asked for the deployment of policemen to help facilitate the strict implementation of the shipment ban on live hogs, pork and pork products in line with the intensified quarantine measures against the African Swine Fever (ASF).
“The move to engage policemen in enforcing the ban came following reports that the ASF which was earlier reported in Rizal and Bulacan Province had spread to Pangasinan because of meat traders who continued to ply their trade in spite of the outbreak,” Piñol said.
Piñol cited that policemen and army units were also utilized during the avian influenza outbreak in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija in 2017.
The deployment of cops and soldiers helped the government in preventing the spread of the avian virus and was declared under control in just a period of one month.
Amid the outbreak of several provinces in Luzon, Mindanao and the Visayas remain ASF free.
This, according to Piñol, is because of “the vigilance and involvement of local government executives and the hog industry stakeholders.”
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