The Trade department signed Wednesday an agreement with the National Food Authority to allow rice retailers to sell NFA rice in groceries and supermarkets.
The agreement, signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and NFA Deputy Administrator Judy Dansal, will help allocate 30 percent of rice inventory including imports to formal distribution channels such as groceries and supermarkets.
Retailers will repack government rice and sell them at a maximum volume of four kilos each per family at P27 per kilo. The repacked rice will be sold in about 150 stores nationwide, initially.
The Trade department is tapping more retailers to bring about greater access to affordable rice.
The NFA and the National Bureau of Investigation will also start monitoring rice outlets to ensure that no accredited establishments are hoarding rice. has ordered the importation of 2 million sacks of rice to arrive by September, 5 million sacks for delivery in October and another 5 million sacks to be imported by early 2019.
Based on government data, rice consumption in 2018 may hit 14.4 million MT against estimated rice production of 12.6 million MT.
The balance of 1.8 million MT will be sourced through importation from neighboring rice-producing nations.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday ordered control of the NFA, the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority returned to the Department of Agriculture.
Executive Order No. 62, signed by Duterte on Monday, rescinded the order of President Benigno Aquino III, which placed the three agencies, along with the National Irrigation Administration, under the Office of the President.
Also, the EO stated that the NFA Council must be reorganized, making the Agriculture secretary and the NFA administrator its chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
The EO came three days after the President said in Cagayan that he needed to have a person in charge who could solve “the idiotic” rice crisis.
Also on Wednesday, Benguet Gov. Crescencio C. Pacalso said there was no shortage of vegetable supply in his province, saying that the damage caused by the recent monsoon rains was minimal.
He said the P73 million in damage caused by the monsoon rains to the province’s agriculture represented only 5 percent to 10 percent of overall crop production. With Nat Mariano
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