NFA shifts to gov’t-to-private rice importation scheme
The National Food Authority (NFA) Council has agreed to make changes in the government’s rice importation program, shifting from the old government-to-government scheme (G2G) to government-to-private scheme (G2P).
Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio “Jun” Evasco Jr., chair of the NFA Council, told reporters on Tuesday that “the policy shift is consistent with President Duterte’s call for change.”
In a news briefing, Evasco said the policy shift received “overwhelming support” from the National Food Security Committee (NFSC).
“This year’s government-to-private importation seeks to do away with the old G2G that lacks transparency and competition,” he said, adding that rice traders from the private sector would allow for more competition.
Evasco said that under the G2P scheme, a a tranche-based delivery of rice in the Minimum Access Volume and the G2P would be implemented.
“For the private sector-led importation or the Minimum Access Volume program, the following changes are hereby instituted: First, delivery period of private sector-led importation shall arrive in tranches. At least 30 percent of the volume import quotas should arrive between August and September, and the balance to arrive between December 17 and February 2018,” Evasco said.
Under the new policy, he said the National Food Authority (NFA) administrator must release import permits within a day, adding that his duty was “purely ministerial or mandatory.”
Evasco said the NFAC had ordered the NFA to issue certificates of eligibility to rice traders within 15 days.
“Under the G2P, the NFA council, per recommendation of the National Food Security Committee and Imports Committee, shall divide the 250,000 MT import authority into several tranches of arrival and will be putting a cap on each lot, to ensure competition and fair trade,” he said. “To add, the council is looking at dividing the importation to eight to 10 lots with minimum of 25,000 MT and maximum of 50,000 MT per lot. This year’s government to private importation seeks to do away with the old G2G that lacks transparency and competition.”
He said the NFAC had agreed to include Zamboanga City as port of entry for G2P and remove the Subic Freeport Zone.
“With these changes being in place, the council is confident that it is being faithful to its foremost duty, that amid the lean season, it is able to secure fair pricing and affordable yet quality rice for every Filipino household,” he said. /atm
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