NFA Council clarifies rice import schedule | Inquirer Business

NFA Council clarifies rice import schedule

The Duterte administration’s way of dishing out contradicting information showed yet again, this time through National Food Authority’s governing body, which makes crucial decisions that help ensure stable food supply.

In a statement issued through the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the NFA Council clarified that all milled rice imports procured through the private sector should arrive in the Philippines by March 31, a month later than the original deadline.

While the NFA imports rice through government-to-government transactions, private importers are also allowed to do so by way of the minimum access volume (MAV) mechanism of the World Trade Organization.


The council had to make the clarification on the deadline after the NFA itself announced last Friday that the deadline remained set at Feb. 28.


The Cabinet Secretary sits as chair of the NFA Council, while the NFA administrator serves as vice chair. The BSP Governor is a member of the council, along with the secretaries of finance, trade and economic planning, as well as the chair of Development Bank of the Philippines, president of Land Bank of the Philippines and a representative of farmers.

The guidelines for this latest batch of imports done through the MAV was spelled out in NFA Council Resolution No. 825-2016-F, dated June 15, 2016.

“One of the provisions of [the resolution] gives discretionary power to the NFA administrator to approve individual requests for extension [of] the arrival of the rice importation,” the council’s statement said.

“This is a specific power delegated to the NFA administrator by the NFA Council for efficiency purposes but in no way to be interpreted to mean that the NFA Council stripped itself of its power to amend the 2016 MAV guidelines,” the council added.

Last Friday, NFA administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino —who assumed office last January—said in a statement that there was no change in the deadline.

“There’s no need to extend the deadline because there were others, including farmer cooperatives, that participated in the MAV and have complied with the deadline,” Aquino said.


“If these co-ops (cooperatives) can do it, why can’t the others?” he said, referring to farmers cooperative that import milled rice through the MAV.

Aquino said imports should arrive early so as not to dampen prices of home-grown grains, considering that local harvest season starts this month.

Before this, in a memo signed Feb. 10, Aquino said the deadline for arrival of shipments was moved to March 31, but for supplies coming from India and Pakistan only.

In another memo dated Feb. 20, Aquino invoked the 2016 MAV guidelines to say that the deadline was set on Feb. 28.

According to the NFA, a total of 211 farmer cooperatives and private businessmen applied for the importation of a combined 692,340 metric tons of rice through the MAV.

For this batch of imports, supplies coming from Vietnam, Thailand, India and Pakistan were given quota allocations.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

NFA data show that 433,699.35 tons or 63 percent of the approved MAV volume have arrived as of Feb. 27.

TAGS: National Food Authority, NFA, rice

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.