PH has enough rice supply for entire year – DA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2020   •   613

Filipino workers carry sacks of government-subsidized rice (NFA Rice) into a store selling various rice brands at a market in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 04 October 2018. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has reassured the public that the country’s rice supply remains sufficient for the entire year “with a comfortable level of inventory.”

“Going into the lean months and onto December 31, 2020, we have enough supply of food, and that includes our major staple – rice,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“We remain consistent that our total projected supply of rice by end of December 2020 would be 17.994 million metric tons (MMT), while our total projected demand would be 14.668 MMT, leaving a year-end inventory of 3.326 MMT,” he added.

With these projections, Dar said that the beginning inventory in January 2021 is seen to last for 94 days.

The DA estimated the projected 2020 year-end supply using three components, namely:

  • Beginning stock in January 2020 or the surplus in December 2019;
  • Total domestic palay production, from January to December 2020; and
  • Total rice imports, January to December 2020, including the 300,000 MT to be imported by the DTI’s Philippine International Trading Corp. under a government-to-government arrangement

The DA said that the respective figures are gathered by its field operations service (FOS) from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Bureau of Customs (BOC) on rice imports, other relevant government agencies, and DA regional field offices (RFOs) in tandem with local government units (LGUs), on palay production.

The PSA’s supply utilization accounts of selected agricultural commodities showed that, of the total rice demand, an average of only 88% serves as food or what is actually eaten, the remaining 12% is allotted for seeds, feeds and industrial uses.

“Hence, of the total projected demand of 14.488 MMT, the actual rice that would be consumed as food would only amount to 12.9 MMT,” the department said.

Citing PSA report, the DA said that a Filipino consumes a total of 118.81 kilograms annually, equivalent to 325.5 grams of milled rice daily.

With a current population of 108.66 million Filipinos, the country’s total annual consumption would amount to 12.9 MMT.

“We hope this will clarify issues on our rice supply, demand, and consumption situation. Again, we assure the nation that the DA is doing its best to secure the country with enough and affordable food for all. Our programs to make this happen are already in place to help our farmers and fisherfolk,” Dar said.

The DA chief made the clarification following concerns on food supply amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

DA sees manipulation in pork supply leading to surge in prices

Marje Pelayo   •   October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The recent spike in prices of pork meat in local markets has led the Department of Agriculture (DA) to believe that the supply of pork in the country is being manipulated.

In major public markets in Metro Manila such as Guadalupe, Commonwealth, Las Piñas and Pasig City, the price of pork is almost the same as the price of beef.

The price of beef in said market ranges from P300 to P350 per kilogram while the price of pork ranges from P290 to P360 per kilogram.

But in the markets of Pasay, Marikina, Mega Q-mart and Muñoz in Quezon City, the price of pork is even higher than beef

Agriculture Secretary William Dar noted that the current supply of frozen pork in Metro Manila is 55 percent higher compared with the same period last year.

“Meron tayong tinitingnan na mina manipulate nila ang paglabas ng frozen pork, kasi meron naman, nandyan na sa mga cold storages natin (We are looking at the possibility of manipulation in the release of frozen pork, because there is supply just sitting in cold storages),” the official said.

Dar said the DA cannot specify yet who among the suppliers are doing the manipulation but they have set a meeting with them to discuss the matter.

“Iyong may mga cold storages imi-meeting namin agad at makikiusap tayo na ilabas nila, ibenta nila yung nasa cold storage nila (We are set to meet with the owners of cold storages and we will ask them to release and to sell the supplies in their cold storages),” Dar said.

Dar also noted that the African Swine Fever (ASF) has affected the country’s pork supply. The agency is currently helping hog raisers from Visayas and Mindanao in bringing their supply to Metro Manila.

At present, thousands of pigs in a total of 25 provinces in the country have alrady been affected by ASF.

To date, there is still no effective cure or vaccine for ASF, thus the DA is asking for the cooperation of the public to help stop the spread of the deadly swine disease.

Dar said the country has enough supply of chicken which can be an alternative to pork.

“Iyong kakulangan ng pork pwede namang punuan galing sa chicken (Chicken meat can fill the pork supply gap),” Secretary Dar said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Farmers, fishers to receive cash, food aid from excess rice tariffs under Bayanihan 2

Marje Pelayo   •   October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — In succeeding months, small rice farmers will receive cash assistance sourced from “excess rice tariff” under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Likewise, fisherfolk and corn, coconut and sugar farmers as well as indigenous peoples (IPs) will receive cash and food assistance. 

Currently, the DA is finalizing the mechanics of the two forms of assistance to millions of small farmers and fisherfolk.

This is in accordance with a resolution approved and adopted by the Senate committee on agriculture and food during the virtual deliberations of the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA), on October 16, 2020.

Agriculture secretary William Dar said the cash assistance will benefit farmers adversely impacted by the  depressed prices of palay this season.

The Senate Joint Resolution No. 12 authorizes the use of the tariffs on imported rice in excess of P10 billion collected by the Bureau of Customs for 2020 under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).

Secretary Dar said that the initial estimate of the excess rice tariffs in 2019 and this year may amount to P5B.

The said amount as stated in the Joint Senate resolution will be used as cash assistance worth P5,000 to benefit small rice farmers, tilling one hectare or less.

To qualify, farmer-beneficiaries should be listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).

Secretary Dar added that this time, other non-rice farmers will also receive P5,000-worth of cash and food assistance under the DA’s P4.5-billion budget allocation, also under Bayanihan 2.

The DA chief said of the P5,000-assistance, P3,000 will be in cash, while the P2,000 will be in kind, at P1,000 for rice and the other P1,000 for chicken and eggs.

Based on the DA’s initial program mechanics, the rice, chicken and eggs will be withdrawn by the beneficiaries using an e-voucher system. 

Qualified recipients will be issued an ID cum voucher.

“Through this mechanism, we are lifting once again our local rice industry that has been affected by the decline in palay prices, and poultry raisers who were affected by a glut due to shut down of businesses due to the pandemic,” secretary Dar said.

Mababang presyo ng palay dahil sa rice tariffication law, itinanggi ng DA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Mariing pinabulaanan ng Department of Agriculture ang alegasyon ng ilang grupo ng mga magsasaka hinggil sa umano’y pagbaba ng presyo ng palay dahil sa ipinatutupad na Rice Tariffication Law.

Una nang nanawagan ang grupong Federation of Free Farmers sa Kongreso na imbestigahan ang pagpapatupad ng Rice Tariffication Law dahil sa naging epekto nito sa presyuhan ng palay.

Ayon sa grupo, bumaba sa P11 hanggang P13  kada kilo ang presyo ng basang palay habang nasa P14 hanggang P17 naman ang halaga ng tuyong palay.

Anila, ito ay dahil umano sa hindi kontroladong importasyon ng bigas at walang kasiguruhan sa polisiya ng kagawaran.

Ngunit ayon kay Agriculture Secretary William Dar, walang katotohanan at  ‘exaggerated’ lang ang alegasyon ng ilang grupo at ilang dating opisyal ng kagawaran.

Aniya, paraan lang ito upang maisulong ang kanilang panukalang amiyendahan ang mga probisyon ng rice tariffication law.

“The interest groups, along with former DA officials, have exaggerated data on palay to push for the amendment or repeal of the RTL (rice tariffication law). They are resurrecting old arguments against RTL,” ang wika ni Dar.

Batay aniya sa survey ng Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM) na isinagawa mula Setyembre 16-30, 2020, nasa P18 kada kilo ang average na presyo ng palay sa Central Luzon habang P19 naman sa Cagayan Valley.

Ang dalawang rehiyon ang nangunguna sa produksyon ng palay sa bansa na katumbas ng 31.5 percent ng total harvest noong 2019.

Sa ulat naman ng Philippine Statistics Authoroty, lumalabas na nasa P17.12 kada kilo naman ang farmgate price ng palay sa huling dalawang linggo ng Setyembre – mas mataas kumpara sa P16.18 kada kilo na presyo sa kaparehong panahon noong 2019.

Ayon kay Dar, ang mga nasabing survey ay nagpapakita lamang ng totoong presyo ng palay na taliwas sa sinasabi ng ilang grupo.

“Makikita dito na hindi nagkakalayo ang data na ginagamit ng gobyerno, and definitely the reality is, hindi kasing baba ang presyo ng palay as interest groups claim on social media,” ang wika ni Dar.

Tiniyak naman ni Dar na nakahanda ang National Food Authority na bilhin ang palay na ibinibenta ng mga magsasaka sa halagang P19 kada kilo na nasa mga bodega at buying stations sa bansa. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)


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