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Government allots P6.1 B for emergency rice imports

Government allots P6.1 B for emergency rice imports

MANILA:  State-run National Food Authority (NFA) is allocating around P6.12 billion for the procurement of the 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice as part of the emergency importation via the government to government (G2G) scheme.

NFA is set to send the letter of invitation to the governments of Thailand and Vietnam for the supply of 250,000 MT of 25 percent brokens long grain white rice well-milled.

Only Thailand and Vietnam can participate in the bidding process since they are the only ones with an existing memorandum of agreement with the Philippines.

The rice imports will be discharged in the ports of La Union, Subic, Manila, Tabaco, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Tacloban, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos City, Davao and Surigao.

The P6.1 billion budget estimate is based on the average prevailing world market price of rice and foreign exchange rate at P53 per dollar.

President Duterte used his emergency power to bring in much-needed rice into the country to replenish NFA’s rice buffer stock.

NFA is required to maintain a food security reserve good for at least 15 days at any given time.

While the interagency council preferred the government-to-private (G2P) scheme, G2G is the best option right now to immediately replenish stocks of cheap rice in the market and stabilize prices of commercial rice.