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NFA welcomes new administrator

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Judy Carol L. Dansal

The National Food Authority (NFA) council member Judy Carol L. Dansal took her oath as the new NFA Administrator on Tuesday afternoon (June 19). Dansal will replace Jason Laureano Y. Aquino.

NFA Officer-in-Charge Administrator Tomas R. Escarez welcomed the new NFA administrator on his Facebook. He also announced that he will revert back to his position as deputy administrator.

Dansal previously served as NFA deputy administrator for marketing operations.

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Piñol orders NFA to purge co-ops list, probe erring workers

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has started probing farmers’ cooperatives accredited by the National Food Authority (NFA).

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol on his social media post on Thursday (May 3) said that some farmer leaders in Central Luzon are complaining against traders who are using the names of inactive cooperatives to be able to sell paddy rice to the NFA.

According to the Secretary, traders in Central Luzon buy fresh palay to farmers at P15 per kilogram then sell them to NFA at P20.70 including the incentives.

Piñol emphasized that under the Rice Tariffication Law, the NFA is mandated to buy palay from legitimate farmers and not from traders, that’s why he wants to know if there are bogus cooperatives included in the NFA’s list.

Meanwhile, the Secretary said the price of NFA rice in the market remains— and should stay— at P27 per kilogram.

“The president has given a directive that NFA should continue selling at P27 even if the rice that we will be using were already be the local rice,” Piñol said.

He said the NFA’s buffer stock of imported rice will be enough until September.

By then, local farmers will supply rice and low-priced rice will remain in local

The NFA has already purchased up to three million bags of palay from January to April this year.

The agency targets to procure up to 30 million bags of palay through the entire year. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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Cheaper price of rice seen after release of IRR for Rice Tariffication Law

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Saturday, April 6th, 2019

Rice vendor

MANILA, Philippines — Policymakers released on Friday (April 5) the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the law easing importation of rice.

The 31-page Joint Memorandum Circular 01-2019 signed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, and Acting Budget Secretary Janet B. Abuel contained the IRR of R.A No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law.

The law, however, already took effect last March 5 with self-executing provisions such as the tariff rates.

The law states that 35% tariff would be collected if rice was imported from within the ASEAN.

Forty (40) percent tariff, on the other hand, will be collected on imports within the minimum access volume (MAV) of 350,000 metric tons from countries outside ASEAN.

If the import is from a non-ASEAN country and above the MAV, the rate would be 180%.

Before the new law was passed, the Philippines was bound by the import quota or the “quantitative restrictions” (QR) aimed at protecting local farmers.

“We celebrate this milestone for the agriculture sector. All concerned agencies, including the National Economic and Development Authority, are duty bound to implement this historic law. In moving forward, we all have the long-term goal of modernizing the rice industry and improving the lives of all Filipinos, especially farmers, in our minds,” Pernia, who heads the state planning agency Neda, said in a statement Friday (April 5).

The Rice Tariffication Law followed concerns regarding the country’s rice supply when stocks got depleted last year which was deemed the main contributor to the 10-year high inflation of 5.2 percent in 2018.

RA 11203’s IRR also highlights the the power of the President to enforce safeguard measures when rice prices soar.

Likewise, the law removes the National Food Authority’s (NFA) commercial and regulatory functions while only its emergency buffer stocking mandate is retained.

“Prior to the completion of the study, the NFA will continue to maintain its current buffer stock level ranging from 15 to 30 days based on a daily national rice consumption of 32,593 metric tons per day,” the statement read.

“The unused grain rice stocks will be unloaded and sold in the domestic market at the prevailing market price or even at a slightly lower rate as long as this would cover storage logistics costs,” according to NEDA.

Meanwhile, the IRR also details the establishment of the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) coming from the national budget, which will be directly transferred to implementing agencies.

Also, the IRR sets the guidelines on the allocation of the tariff revenues in excess of P10 billion which will be used to help the local farmers.

The IRR also removed the prior documentary requirements of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) for rice imports.

“Concerned government agencies, such as the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Plant Industry of DA, no longer require the NFA permit, license, or registration for trade and importation of rice. The only requirement to import and trade rice is the phytosanitary import clearance (SPSIC), which can be obtained from the Bureau of Plant Industry,” NEDA said.

The IRR will take effect 15 days upon publication. – Marje Pelayo

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NFA procures 1.26M sacks of palay from local farmers in Q1

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The National Food Authority (NFA) has increased its procurement of local farmers’ yield in the first quarter of 2019 by 6,149% higher than last year.

According to the agency’s first quarter report, the NFA has procured a total of 1.26 million sacks of palay from local farmers, from January to March.

This is way higher from the mere 20,540 bags procured in the same period last year.

NFA Officer-in-Charge Tomas Escarez noted that the agency was able to offer a much more reasonable deal with the local farmers.

“We are not surprised though because March is the start of the summer crop harvest and we were able to capitalize on our higher incentives versus the low buying price of palay traders.

While traders reduced their buying price to as low as P14.00/ kilogram, we on the other hand increased our buying price up to P20.70/ kg for clean and dry palay,” Escarez said.

Based on the NFA data, highest palay procurement as of March 31 by the NFA branches were recorded in Tarlac, Isabela, Occidental Mindoro, North Cotabato, Nueva Ecija, Sultan Kudarat, Bulacan, Bataan, Cagayan and Ilocos Norte.

Meanwhile, Escarez said the agency is now preparing for more palay procurement in the next two months in view of the dry season.

NFA also increased its previous target of palay procurement from 7.78 million bags to 14.46 million bags for 2019.

This is in accordance with the NFA’s new functions under RA 11203 or the Rice Trade Liberalization Law.

“NFA will continue to serve our farmers by buying their produce to ensure a reasonable return for their harvest especially now that farmers are suffering from the effects of El Niño and private traders are buying low,” Escarez said.

According to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, the locally produced rice will be out in the market by August when the stocks of imported rice are expected to be consumed. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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