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NFA probes P45-M illegal rice imports from Thailand

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The National Food Authority (NFA) is set to conduct an investigation on the P45 million rice import from Thailand following several violations on importation documents of the Calumpit Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

NFA administrator Renan Dalisay said the Calumpit MPC violated at least three provisions under the 2015 Minimum Acces Volume Rice Importation Program.

First is on the pending request for the issuance of import permits (IPs) for rice that already arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) which violated the provision stating that “to obtain an IP, the importer must first submit to the NFA’s Grains Marketing Operations Department-Foreign Operations Division electronic copies of shipping documents submitted to LBP prior to the arrival of the carrying vessel at designated port of discharge.”

“While Calumpit MPC has an import permit, they were applying for another import permit when the shipment was already here. That was a clear violation of our procedure,” Dalisay said.

Second, the failure to provide a copy of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP)-issued proof of payment before the arrival of the shipment. The absence of a valid IP states that the shipment is considered illegal.

“Calumpit MPC was fully notified of this situation in a letter dated Jan. 4, 2016 we sent to them. And third, they promised to settle all payments and to comply with all the requirements by Jan. 31, 2016, another violation of the MAV guidelines,” Dalisay explained.

The NFA has issued a certificate of eligibility (COE) to Calumpit MPC on Sept. 9, 2015 for the importation of 7,450 metric tons of 25 percent broken rice from Thailand with the MICP as disport.

However, the cooperative requested for an amendment to their COE on Sept. 28, 2015 which the NFA granted, from the original volume of 7,450 MT, it was amended to 2,900 MT white rice, 25 percent brokens; 4,450 MT white rice, five percent brokens; and 100 MT, Thai Hom Mali A1 Super.

Calumpit MPC again applied for another IP for four shipments totaling 2,950 MT on Nov. 22 to Dec. 9, 2015 but the NFA did not issue due to lack of pre-importation documentary requirements, particularly the payment instructions from LBP.

On Dec. 23, 2015, the cooperative requested for a change in variety from 25 percent brokens to five percent brokens for its 2,150 MT allocation, but again the NFA did not grant the request citing the other pending request for IP.

NFA sent them a letter explaining the violations on the approved MAV guidelines committed by the cooperative.

“I hope that this will serve as a warning to all cooperatives or private importers to strictly follow our rules and regulations. Our approved allocations are being carefully studied so as not to distort our supply-use estimate. Any illegal shipment will create a negative impact to our farmers and to our rice prices. This is what we are trying to avoid,” Dalisay said.

ACIRC

CALUMPIT

CALUMPIT MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE

DALISAY

GRAINS MARKETING OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT-FOREIGN OPERATIONS DIVISION

JAN

LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES

MANILA INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER PORT

MINIMUM ACCES VOLUME RICE IMPORTATION PROGRAM

NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY

NFA

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