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NFA bans importation of ‘fancy rice’ starting today

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The National Food Authority Council under the Department of Agriculture (DA) has banned the importation of 5 percent broken milled white rice, also known as “fancy rice” starting today, September 25, in an effort to bring down rice prices in the market.

DA Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol said the aim of rice importation is to stabilize rice prices in the market by increasing supply. However, the entrance of fancy rice in the market has effectively hiked the price of local rice.

“Ngayon kapag ang iniimport ay fancy rice…lalo lang tumataas ang presyo ng bigas kasi sila ‘yung nagseset ng trend at P55-P58 per kilo, Jasmine rice, long grains and so on…humahabol ngayon ‘yung local na bigas, nasa P45/P48,” said Sec. Piñol.

This has prompted him to recommend to the NFA Council not to allow the importation of 5 percent broken rice and to set the limit of allowable breakage percentage at 25 percent only.

Piñol said this will allow the government to recover control over the price of rice in the market.

He also announced that importation will now be strictly supervised by the Department of Agriculture.

“Magpapadala po kami ng inspectors. Kung halimbawa Vietnam, bago ikarga ‘yung bigas, magpapadala ako ng tao kasama taga-NFA. We will inspect, may bukbok ba ‘yan, walang bukbok, ‘yan ba ay 25% broken, para wala nang lusutan,” the DA Secretary said.

Meanwhile, the NFA Council will be giving incentives in the form of tractors and free use of flatbed driers among others, to encourage Filipino farmers to sell rice to the NFA. — Asher Cadapan, Jr.

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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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Ompong leaves P26-B damage to agriculture

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol confirmed on Monday, September 24, that Typhoon Ompong inflicted P26 billion worth of damages to agriculture.

The country’s rice production was the hardest hit with the destruction of 765,000 metric tons of rice valued at P14.5 billion.

Corn production was the next to suffer with P8.1 billion worth of losses.

This is apart from the damages on irrigation facilities, machinery and other equipment estimated to be over half a million pesos.

Piñol said this has been the biggest agricultural damage after super typhoon Yolanda struck in 2013 causing P35 billion worth of agricultural damages.

Despite this, the agriculture secretary believes that the price of rice will remain stable as the 750,000 metric tons of imported rice are expected to arrive before the year ends.

“I don’t think there will be much movement actually sa palay prices sapagkat mayroon tayong losses sa Ompong, mayroon naman tayong parating na importation. Nasa mga ganoon pa rin, mga 20 (pesos),” Piñol said.

Meanwhile, he said that the department has allotted funds to aid the victims; however, he said that it will not suffice.

Due to this, Piñol is set to submit today, September 25, to President Duterte a masterplan on the rehabilitation of Ompong-affected areas.

“Hindi sapat ang pondo kaya nga gumagawa tayo ng masterplan which we will submit to the Office of the President tomorrow because we are hoping that we will be able to convince Congress to allocate funds.”

The Secretary is also set to convene local officials next month to create the local food security plan that will help the country’s growing population. — Yssa Jalmasco/Asher Cadapan | UNTV News & Rescue

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DA grants P30-M agri aid to over 500 Bukidnon farmers

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, September 14th, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol (c)

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol led the granting of farming equipment and financial aid to over 500 farmers in Talakag, Bukidnon, Friday, September 14.

The Department of Agriculture provided the farmers’ association P20 million capital for vegetable production; four (4) forward tractors; five (5) carabaos and five (5) cattle; and different varieties of seeds.

The initiative is part of the DA’s plan to develop the 10,000 hectare of land in Talakag into a major plantation of high-value crops.

Secretary Piñol said time will come when the country will no longer lament the rising prices of vegetables in the market because Bukidnon would be the new leading source of high-value vegetables. He explained that Bukidnon’s cool climate and fertile land are suitable for farming.

The local government of Bukidnon on Wednesday began the drafting of the five-year development road map for vegetable production in Impasugong, Talakag, Sumilao and Lantapan (IMTASULA). — Raymond Octobre

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