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