Open tender for all agriculture imports eyed
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking to employ an auction scheme in the importation of agricultural commodities to ensure a more transparent system beginning this year.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said at a press conference on Friday that the policy shift was in line with President Duterte’s directive for full transparency, and was expected to bring in more revenue to the government.
Dar said that since his installment as the new agriculture chief in August last year, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has suggested to revamp the agriculture industry’s importation process.
Early this week, Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino also recommended the same scheme in a House hearing on sugar, noting that an open tender scheme would be fairer and forthright.
Employing an auction system in the importation of sugar—and eventually, to other agricultural products—would open bidding to the public, and traders would be chosen on the basis of price.
This runs counter to the existing scheme of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, wherein imports are dictated by a guideline released by its board. The volume of imports are often dependent on the movements of the market.
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