MANILA, Philippines — The government is set to import a total of 250 thousand metric tons of rice amounting to P5.6 billion.
The National Food Authority (NFA) has now opened the bidding process to private exporters here and abroad because the NFA council has approved the “government to private” importation scheme.
Common foreign bidders include Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan.
“The council said having more bidders will make the process more competitive,” NFA spokesperson Mayette Ablaza said.
Rice should be well milled rice or 25% broken long grain white rice, just like the kind of rice the NFA is selling in the market for P32 pesos a kilo.
120,000 metric tons of imported rice are expected to arrive in August while the remaining 130,000 metric tons are expected in September.
NFA’s buffer stock for the month of July should be enough for 30 days. However, it holds only enough for 6 days.
The NFA council leaves other importation process to the private sector.
Nevertheless, NFA assured it can supply rice to any part of the country in the event of a tropical cyclone or other calamities.
“Kung kailangan na bawasan ang allocation ng mga retailer’s ay babawasan yun dahil ang prayoridad ng NFA yung food security in times of calamities and emergencies,” NFA Spokesperson Mayette Ablaza said. (We will reduce the allocation for the retailers when necessary because NFA prioritizes food security in times of calamities and emergencies.) — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News and Rescue