Thursday, November 22, 2018
Close  
  • share this

Vietnam rice import ‘overpriced’ by P457M

LUCENA CITY—Activist-lawyer Argee Guevarra on Thursday urged Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala to conduct a serious study on rice importation, claiming that the cost of its latest rice importation from Vietnam was disadvantageous to the government to the tune of P457 million.

Citing documents that he had examined, Guevarra said the Department of Agriculture imported last April from Vietnam some 187,000 metric tons of rice at an overprice of P19,762 per metric ton.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While government-to-government contracts are supposed to be more cost-effective,” Guevarra said the payment made by the National Food Authority (NFA) was way higher than the prevailing market price in Vietnam when the deal was made, which then stood only at P15,480 per metric ton.

“A simple check of the Oryza Global Rice price for the period confirms how the NFA had overpriced its acquisition cost by at least P457 million—a killing for a single transaction,” Guevarra said in a statement on Thursday.

FEATURED STORIES

“Secretary Alcala should be more circumspect now in his rice importation, where the price disparity is already indicative of the potential hand of rice price profiteers,” Guevarra said.

NFA administrator Orlan Calayag defended the cost of the agency’s rice import, which was awarded to Vietnam’s Southern Food Corp.

Calayag said Vietnam’s quoted offer was comparatively lower than the offer made by Thailand.

Vietnam’s offer was lower by more than P4,000 per metric ton and even lower by 70 US cents per metric ton than the price of the rice imported in 2012 by the NFA, said Calayag, in a statement posted on the NFA website on April 30.

Another scam?

Calayag said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-member countries with existing agreements to supply rice to the Philippines were invited to submit their sealed offers and quotations but only Thailand and Vietnam joined the tender held on April 3.

In the wake of the controversial multibillion pesos pork barrel scam that prompted ordinary citizens to stage on Monday the biggest protest rally against the Aquino administration, Guevarra warned that the possibility of rice prices being manipulated might “trigger an upheaval.”

ADVERTISEMENT

On top of the imported 187,000 metric tons of rice from Vietnam, Guevarra also alleged that the NFA “inserted” the purchase of another 18,700 metric tons of the staple without any prior approval from the Department of Finance under the Fiscal Incentive Review Board.

Guevarra said he would bring his findings to the Office of the Ombudsman or the newly created Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council for further investigation.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Food, Food security, News, Regions, rice, Vietnam
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
entertainment

Rapper 6ix9ine innocent of racketeering charges

November 22, 2018 07:11 PM

newsinfo

Masungi Georeserve lauded for conservation efforts

November 22, 2018 07:05 PM

entertainment

Kris Aquino sues brother of ex-project manager for cyberlibel

November 22, 2018 06:51 PM



© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.