Manila to order 250,000 tonnes of emergency rice import from Thailand or Vietnam

The Philippines is considering an emergency purchase of up to 250,000 tonnes of rice either from Thailand or Vietnam to replenish its depleging rice reserves for domestic consumption, according to The Manila Times Online report on Saturday (April 7).

A top official of the National Food Authority (NFA) said that officials concerned were in the process of drafting the terms of reference for the emergency purchase of some 250,000 tonnes of rice.

Under Presidential Decree 9184, the state-run grains agency may resort to alternative methods of procurement, especially during emergency cases.

The official said that the NFA was in favour of the Swiss challenge scheme with this importation. “Whoever can bring in the rice requirement the fastest and the cheapest will be awarded the supply contract,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (April 5) met with rice traders at the Malacanang Palace to appeal to them not to hoard rice or sell the grains at higher price.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the president was considering centralizing rice imports.  He added that rice traders promised to flood market with 700,000 sacks of rice to be sold at P39 per kilo.

The traders also promised to deliver 100,000 sacks of rice every week until the arrival of rice imported by the NFA.

It was reported that NFA’s rice stocks in Metro Manila have been wiped out.