NFA open rice tender falls short
(The Philippine Star) - October 19, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — At a time when the government plans to flood the market with rice imports to bring down prices, only 47,000 metric tons of the supposed 250,000 MT were taken by private traders for the open tender importation.

During the bidding conference yesterday, state-run National Food Authority (NFA) announced that only two companies from Vietnam and one from Thailand had the lowest bids for the procurement of the 250,000 MT, out of the 13 companies that passed the eligibility to bid.

There were 20 companies that actually bought bid documents, but only 13 passed with the remaining seven failing due to lack of specific documents.

Reference price for the importation was set at $428.18 per MT and only three companies bidded within the price for the supply contract of 250,000 MT 25 percent brokens, well-milled long grains white rice via the government-to-private mode.

For Lot 3 in Batangas with 18,000 MT, Thai Capital Crops Co. Ltd had the lowest offer at $426.30 per MT.

Vietnam Southern Food Corp. submitted the lowest bid for 15,000 MT lot 4 in Tabaco at a price of $427.68 per MT.

For lot 5, Vietnam Northern Food Corp. offered the lowest price at $427.50 per MT for 14,000 MT in Iloilo and Bacolod.

Six more lots are set to be bidded out soon with the remaining 203,000 MT.

The bid of the other companies ranged from $458 up to a high of $478.48 per MT.

“We have to report to the [NFA] Council to address this. We need rice and we need to act immediately,” Committee on Government-to-Private Procurement chairperson and NFA deputy administrator Judy Carol Dansal said.

“We will have to rebid for the remaining volume. It is not a failed bidding. It’s just that not all the volume were taken,” she added.

The grains agency has allotted P5.8 billion for the procurement.

The 250,000 MT volume is supposed to be divided into nine lots with 14 discharge ports. Manila is set to get the bulk, or about 65,000 MT, followed by Subic with 55,000 MT.

Another 30,000 MT will be discharged in La Union, 18,000 MT in Batangas, 15,000 MT in Tabaco, and 14,000 MT in General Santos City.

Iloilo and Tacloban will also get 10,000 MT each, Davao City with 8,000 MT, Zamboanga City with 6,000 MT, Cebu, Surigao and Cagayan de Oro with 5,000 MT each, and Bacolod with 4,000 MT.

The 250,000 MT is a portion of the total 750,000 MT targeted to be bidded out until November.

Meanwhile, rice stakeholders through the Department of Agriculture we agreed to finalize the suggested retail price for Filipinos’ main staple.

During a stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said starting October 23, all commercial rice sold in the public markets and supermarkets will have an SRP clearly identified as imported from ‘Vietnam,’ ‘Thailand,’ and ‘Pakistan’ or produced in the ‘Philippines’ and properly classified.

“Local rice will be identified as Philippine local rice. No more use of Sinandomeng, no more use of fake Denorado, no more Super Angelica, no more yummy rice,” Piñol told reporters after the meeting.

For imported regular milled rice, SRP is P37 per kilogram, while for imported well-milled rice SRP is at P40 per kilo.

For local rice, regular milled is at P39 per kilo, and well milled at P44 per kilo. There will be no SRP for special rice.

“Everybody understands that the stakeholders of the rice industry will have to unite because the consumers are complaining and there is no order in the market,” Piñol said.

“There is no uniformity in the market. We will have to rationalize the whole thing and this is for the protection of the Filipino consumers,” he said.

The agri chief said the SRP would be a moving SRP and would be reviewed as needed.


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