QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A total of 13 companies signified their interest to join the bidding to be set by the National Food Authority (NFA) for the 500,000 metric tons of rice imports.
The NFA has allotted up to P12B fund for the importation and the rice supply is expected to be delivered in the months of December this year and January next year.
The said rice imports are estimated at a price of P24 per kilogram.
The agreement, likewise, includes specific conditions including fumigation against pests especially rice weevils.
The NFA stressed that fumigation is the responsibility of the supplier even after the imported rice reached Manila ports.
“Iyong reckoning ng ownership ng stocks babayaran ng NFA at the quantity and the quality received doon sa pile sa warehouse na na-designate natin,” explained NFA Spokesperson Angel Imperial.
The NFA will also send inspectors to countries of origin to check on the quality of the rice imports before they are loaded in shipping vessels for delivery.
Retailers said they support the government’s effort to import additional rice buffer stocks which they believe helps stabilize rice prices in local markets.
“Masaya kami kung ito ay magtatagumpay para sa atin. Kasi tuloy tuloy talaga na yung presyo bigas mai-stabilize natin,” said Orlando Manuntag, the press officer of the Grain Retailers Confederation of the Philippines (GRECON).
However, the group calls for faster release of rice imports from ports to avoid long delays.
“Ma-suggest natin siguro sa NFA council na kausapin ang Bureau of Customs and then yung Pier Harbor na kapag NFA rice ang karga ng barko ay bigyan talaga ng priority para di naman masaktan yung mga exporter natin,” Manuntag concluded.
Article Source: UNTV News & Rescue