A group of rice importers on Friday strongly urged the National Food Authority (NFA) to extend the importation of rice until March 31.
Edwin Paraluman, chairman of the Philippine Farmers Advisory Board (PFAB), told the media that it is unfair that NFA Administrator Jason Aquino allowed other importers to import rice from Pakistan and India until March 31, while his group that imports rice from Thailand and Vietnam were prevented to import before the end of February.
Paraluman said Aquino’s decision was a clear proof of double standard.
The PFAB and its allied organizations have already lost P6 billion as of March 3.
It is seen to increase if the NFA will not reconsider its position on their group.
According to Paraluman, the stoppage of his group’s importation has so many effects, apart from the P6-billion loss of income, such as possible increase in the unit price of rice.
He said his group is a big help to the country, and Aquino should allow them to import rice until March 31.
Paraluman pointed out that they already paid the necessary taxes to the government for the importation.
NELSON S. BADILLA