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Palace official suggests reselling of smuggled rice seized in Zamboanga, Sibugay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

SMUGGLED RICE: Over 27, 000 sacks of Vietnam rice were seized by the Philippine Navy from a foreign cargo vessel in the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay on Saturday, April 14. (Photo Courtesy: Philippine Navy)

MANILA, Philippines — The National Food Authority is urged to resell the 27,180 sacks of smuggled rice seized from a foreign vessel off the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay last Saturday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque suggested that the NFA may offer the rice shipment to markets at a cheaper price.

“Kung hindi nga lang po bigas iyan, that should be up for destruction din. Pero dahil makakain naman ng taumbayan, ang sinabi sa akin ng Department of Agriculture ay pupuwede po iyang ibenta as NFA rice, iyong cheap rice para ma-increase iyong stockpile ng NFA.” the Palace official said.

(Had it not been rice, it should have been up for destruction also. But because it is suitable for public consumption, the Department of Agriculture has told me it can be sold as NFA rice, the cheap rice, to increase the NFA’s stockpile.)

The NFA is still awaiting the replenishment of its rice buffer stock of 250,000 imported rice which is set to arrive in May.

The seized shipment on board MV Diamond 8 is valued at P68 million pesos. — Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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BOC intercepts 200 container vans of smuggled rice at Manila Port

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized 200 containers loaded with smuggled rice at Manila International Container Port. (UNTV News and Rescue)


MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported on Thursday, June 14, that the agency has intercepted 200 container vans loaded with a total of 100,000 sacks of smuggled rice at the Manila International Container Port in the first week of June.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña confirmed the seizure of thousands of sacks of Thailand White Rice from Vietnam under the consignee, Sta. Rosa Farm Products Corporation.

BOC alerted other agencies regarding a shipment that had no import permit as required by the National Food Authority (NFA.)

Lapeña noted the NFA Circular AO-2013-04-0002 which states that all rice importers should secure an NFA permit before being allowed entry of imported rice to the country.

Based on BOC’s assessment, the 100,000 sacks of smuggled rice are valued at P250 million with duties and taxes amounting to P31.4 million for the 150 container vans while the remaining 50 containers are still under abandonment proceedings.

The importer of the shipment is likely to face charges for violation of Section 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act as well as charges for agricultural smuggling.

Lapeña said this is by far the biggest haul of agricultural products since he assumed as BOC chief. – Aiko Miguel / Marje Pelayo

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NHA clarifies ‘misquoted’ cost of wooden footbridge in Zamboanga project

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

ZAMBO BRIDGE COLLAPSE: A bridge mishap at a housing site in Zamboanga (Courtesy of EMEDIAMO)


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The National Housing Authority (NHA) denied Wednesday, May 9, that the wooden footbridge in Zamboanga City that collapsed during the visitation of housing officials in April costs P12 million.

According to Engineer Al Indanan, the bridge’s project manager and NHA’s district manager in Zamboanga, House Committee on Housing and Urban Development Chair Representative Alfredo Benitez was “misquoted.”

“I think they were just misquoted on that. The 12 million is for the whole 2,000-meter foot bridge…not the damaged portion,” Indanan explained.

Benitez mentioned in a congressional hearing last week that the wooden footbridge was way too expensive.

Indanan added that each linear meter of the project costs P6,000  thus the entire stretch costs P12 million.

Nevertheless, NHA Zamboanga said they are willing to face probe in Congress in line with the mishap.

The agency and the city council met Tuesday to discuss the overall cost of the wooden bridge, the plan for its repair and the action they will take against the contractor of the bridge.

“We will have to make the contractor liable. The liability is on the contractor,” Indanan concluded. — Dante Amento | UNTV News & Rescue

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Philippines to import P6.7-B worth of rice from Thailand and Vietnam

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Saturday, May 5th, 2018




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

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