The inter-agency National Food Authority (NFA) Council has given the green light to bring in 250,000 MT of rice as soon as possible.
Michael Varcas
Philippines to import additional 250,000 metric tons of rice
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Amid the continued tight supply of rice in the market, the government is set to import for the third time this year another 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice to help stabilize prices and boost national inventory.

The inter-agency National Food Authority (NFA) Council has given the green light to bring in 250,000 MT of rice as soon as possible.

The latest importation will bring total imports to 750,000 MT of rice for 2018.

This excludes the 132,000 MT approved last week as this was part of the excess in the minimum access volume shouldered by the private sector.

“The council approved this during the meeting on Tuesday. We are already preparing the terms of reference,” NFA spokesman Rex Estoperez told The STAR in a phone interview.

“Most likely this will be another open tender (government-to-private) scheme,” he added.

The NFA Council members have been known to disagree on matters of importation. The council deferred several times earlier this year the proposal to import, which eventually led to the wrong timing of the arrival of stocks.

“We have different views and we sometimes disagree on things but at the end of the day, we would have to think of what’s best for the public,” Estoperez said.

Estoperez did not confirm whether this will be the last batch of importation for the year.

“It was not discussed yet (if there will be another one). We are nearing the harvest season, so we will also increase our market participation in (local procurement),” he said.

The NFA wanted 500,000 MT of imports for the second half of the year. So far, only 250,000 MT have been approved. – With Ramon Efren Lazaro

NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY RICE SUPPLY
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