By GENALYN KABILING • MADELAINE MIRAFLOR
Cheap imported rice will flood the local market soon, starting this month after the series of importation led by the National Food Authority (NFA).
With the additional imports, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said there would be NFA rice that would be sold again at P27 and P32 “to provide that accessibility to low-priced rice.”
“This will of course drag down even prices of commercial rice, which as you know, despite the lack of supply, we were able to still hold on it at the level of P39 to R49 for regular and well-milled rice,” Lopez added.
Lopez said the trade department is closely monitoring prices of commodities including food products to ensure retailers abide with the agreed suggested retail prices. He added that the Department of Agriculture plans to impose SRP in agricultural products sold in markets too.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the passage of the proposed rice tariffication law could be one of the best ways to address high food prices. Such proposal is expected to reduce inflation by around 0.4 percentage points if implemented in the third quarter.
“It will bring down rice prices by around P7 per kilo for the Filipino families and reduce inflation to below 4 percent by the second half of the year,” he said.
Just recently, five suppliers from Thailand and Singapore were awarded the contract to supply 250,000 metric tons (MT) of 25 percent broken, well-milled long grain white rice, to the NFA under the open tender bidding held on May 22.
Nineteen suppliers participated in the bidding, but only 13 passed the eligibility and technical requirements, and only five eventually passed the post-qualification evaluation of the NFA’s special bids and awards committee.
The companies awarded the contracts are Thai Hua (2511) Co., Ltd. for the supply of 75,000 MT; Capital Cereals Co. Ltd. for 43,000 MT; Asia Golden Rice Co., Ltd. for 58,500 MT; Ponglarp Co. Ltd. for 36,000 MT; and Olam International Limited for 37,500 MT.
The fresh stocks will form part of the NFA’s food security stocks during the lean months of July to September.