THE National Food Authority (NFA) Council has approved the importation of 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice this year to boost government buffer stock before the lean season.
In a media advisory, the NFA said the Council, following a meeting on Feb 13, has approved the importation of the country’s rice requirement through a government-to-government (G2G) deal.
A G2G transaction requires an existing executive agreement for a country to participate in the bidding of the rice. At present, only three countries—Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia—have existing rice purchase agreement with the Philippines.
Under the terms of reference, the state-run grains agency will buy 250, 000 MT (25 percent brokens) and 250, 000 MT (15 percent brokens), well-milled long grain white rice.
The minimum volume to be offered is 50, 000 MT for each variety. The NFA also requires bidders to deliver 50 percent of the volume to be awarded not later than March 31, 2015 and the other 50 percent not later than April 30, 2015
“Evaluation of the offer and contract award shall be undertaken on the basis of the lowest price offered, provided that the offer conforms with the volume and delivery period requirement,” the agency added.
The state-run grains agency is required by law to have at least 15-day buffer stock at any given time, and 30-day buffer stock during lean months. Traditionally, the lean season in the Philippines starts in June and ends in September.
With stocks dipping below 13 days, the NFA is now resorting to importation anew to beef up its inventory.
Last year, the Philippines rice importation reached over 1.7 million MT, the biggest under the Aquino administration, and closer to the 2009 level of 1.8 million MT.