An estimated 250,000 metric tons of imported rice is expected to be delivered in the Philippines in May to increase the government stockpile.
The arrival of the fresh stocks follows the National Food Authority (NFA) Council approval of the importation of rice via open tender scheme with the private sector.
The rice importation was one aspect of agreements reached during President Rodrigo Duterte’s meeting with the NFA Council, other food agency officials, and economic mangers.
“Mabuti pang sobra jaysa kulang, kasi kapag inabutan tayo, problema iyan,” the President said, according to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary Assistant Jonas Soriano.
“Even with a very sufficient supply of rice for the entire country to date, the NFA Management is directed to start the procurement process of the approved standby authority or buffer stock,” Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. said in a statement read by Soriano in a Palace briefing.
“The said rice import is set to arrive May of this year. This is to allow the NFA to have buffer stock for the upcoming lean months of the year in which rice harvest is at its lowest,” Head of the NFA Council Evasco said.
Evasco also gave an assurance that the public don’t need to be worried as the government is putting all its efforts to combat rice shortage.
“We would like to assure the public that the NFA Council is keen on ensuring continued supply of affordable rice for Filipino people while working hand in hand with other departments to ensure the interest of the Filipino farmers and their families as part of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s commitment for a better Philippines and a comfortable life for the Filipinos,” he furthered.