NFA administrator Jason Aquino said they would propose to the interagency NFA Council the importation of the 500,000 MT during the next Council meeting.
Edd Gumban
NFA mulls additional rice imports
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - July 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — State-run National Food Authority (NFA) is considering importing another 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice due to the depletion of the agency’s stocks.

NFA administrator Jason Aquino said they would propose to the interagency NFA Council the importation of the 500,000 MT during the next Council meeting.

“We are planning [to submit proposal] as soon as possible. We do not want a repeat of what happened [in the past months],” said NFA administrator Jason Aquino during the launch of NFA Kontra Abuso hotline on Thursday.

“Once approved,  ideal arrival would be October to December because during this time prices in the world market are low. We can get the best deals from foreign suppliers -  low price but still good quality. It’s a win-win for us,” he added.

NFA’s proposal aims to boost its  buffer stock inventory which is currently at 2.5 days only or about 1.6 million bags when it is supposed to have a 30-day buffer stock during the lean season.

Based on data from the NFA, total consumption will reach 14.1 million MT this year but production is seen to reach only 12.26 million MT.  This means that the 1.8 million MT shortfall will have to be imported.

“Unless they increase our buying price, we would need to resort to importation. We are also proposing for the increase in preparation for the lifting of the quantitative restriction,” Aquino said.

“Who else would buy the palay of local farmers if the imported rice would be cheaper? We want to protect the farmers as early as now,” he added.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has yet to submit its analysis on the agency’s latest proposal to increase its buying price by P8 per kilogram.

NFA’s Kontra Abuso hotline serves as a venue for the public to air their complaints and report violations including rice diversion, rebagging, mixing and adulteration, harassment against grains businessmen and illegal inspection.

The hotline will be managed by NFA’s Task Force manned by its security services and investigation department on a 24/7 basis to protect good quality low-priced rice against illegal activities.

JASON AQUINO NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY RICE SUPPLY
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