According to Nograles, the IATF has approved the proposals of the Department of Agriculture during their meeting on Friday, which also calls on ASEAN trading partners to refrain from imposing trade restrictive measures.
STAR/Michael Varcas/File
Philippines seeks ASEAN help in sourcing 300k MT of rice
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is seeking the assistance of other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) peers for the importation of an additional 300,000 metric tons of rice through government-to-government agreements, inter-agency task force on coronavirus 2019 spokesman and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said late Friday.

According to Nograles, the IATF  has approved the proposals of  the  Department of Agriculture during their meeting on Friday, which also calls on ASEAN trading partners to refrain from imposing trade restrictive measures.

“The DA, including the DOF and the DTI, shall work with ASEAN trading partners and encourage them to refrain from imposing trade restrictive measures to ensure that existing supply contracts are prioritized,” Nograles said.

The government has tasked the DA and concerned agencies to work on the importation of an additional 300,000 metric tons of rice through government-to-government arrangements with ASEAN trading partners and/or from all sources, including India and Pakistan at the ASEAN-level tariff.

To ensure food adequacy in the country in the next few weeks while the country is in a state of calamity, Nograles said the task force has directed LGUs to allow farming and fishing activities to continue;  and  allow the free movement of all supplies used for agriculture, including food packaging and manufacturing materials.

The Palace also directed the reactivation of  the Local Price Coordination Council and for the LGUs and market masters to strictly implement the price freeze and suggested retail price (SRP) compliance based on Memorandum Circular 77.

In order to implement, expand, and increase food adequacy in the country, the government has allocated P 31-billion budget for the DA’s Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Contra sa COVID-19 or Plant Plant Plant Program popularly called as 4Ps in Agriculture.

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