Importation of 300,000 MT of rice pushed to ensure supply during virus crisis
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte to import 300,000 metric tons of rice to ensure a stable supply of the staple in the face of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.
“Nirerekomenda ng IATF sa Office of the President ang proposal ng DA [Department of Agriculture] na mag-import ng 300,000 metric tons ng bigas para matiyak na hindi po tayo maubusan ng supply,” IATF spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Tuesday in a press briefing.
(The IATF recommended to the Office of the President the Department of Agriculture’s proposal to import a total of 300,000 metric tons of rice to ensure that we won’t run out of supply.)
Nograles said this will be done through “government-to-government arrangements for contingency purposes.”
In an earlier bulletin from the IATF, it said the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) trading partners.
This is to encourage them not to impose trade-restrictive measures to ensure that existing supply contracts will be prioritized.
Meanwhile, the DA earlier assured that there is an adequate rice supply in the country even after Vietnam decided to suspend its rice exports.
The Vietnamese government made the move to ensure sufficient domestic supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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