DTI wants to tap state trade firm for rice importation
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is proposing to allow a state-owned firm to import rice in a bid to help address the problem on rice supply.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the proposal was to allow the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) to import rice.
He said this in a mobile message to reporters over the weekend, noting that the DTI and other stakeholders were also studying the imposition of price control on rice.
He said this was currently being coordinated with the Department of Agriculture and the National Food Authority.
This develops amid severe price and supply problems surrounding rice, a staple food among Filipinos.
The issue has even grown bigger as it now involves a graft complaint filed against the head of the NFA for using funds meant for buying grains last year to pay the agency’s debts.
It remains to be seen how the problem on rice supply will be addressed if PITC enters the picture.
PITC was established on July 21, 1973 through Presidential Decree 252 to trade with Socialist and Other Centrally Planned Economy Countries (Socpec). In 1977, its mandate was expended via PD 1071 to be one of the drivers of Philippine trade worldwide.
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