MANILA, Philippines – Re-bidding for the country’s importation of 250,000 metric tons of rice ended early on Friday.
The bid prices of Thailand and Vietnam were lower than the reference price of the NFA so both were accepted.
But it should be noted that the reference prices of the National Food Authority (NFA) have increased by more than $45 per metric tons.
The Philippine government will be spending P6.7 billion for the 5 million sacks of rice. Initial delivery is expected at the end of May.
However, according to the president of the Central Luzon Farmers’ Cooperative, Simeon Sioson, the bid prices are too high and importation should have been done last year.
“Kapag alam ng supplier na kailangang-kailangan natin meron silang karapatan at prerogative nila na itaas yung presyo ng gusto nila,” Sioson said.
NFA spokesperson Rex Estoperez said, the agency had wanted to import rice in the last quarter of 2017 but the NFA council did not approve it.
He added that the government could have saved billions of pesos because the price then was much lower.
“Yun yung sinasabi natin yung complexity of NFA operation. Decision should always be on time,” Estoperez said.
The NFA expressed intention to open the government to government mode of procurement to other countries like India, Pakistan and Myanmar so they can have more choices and healthier competition among bidders.
But this request for them to be able to participate is still pending with office of our department of foreign affairs,” NFA Deputy Administrator Judy Carol Dansal.
The agency is set to import another 5 million sacks of rice for their 15-day buffer stock.
But President Rodrigo Duterte wants to increase the stock to last 60 days. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue