Economic managers back ‘timely’ rice importation –NEDA

MANILA-- The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is pushing for "timely" importation of rice to achieve self-sufficiency in the grain in the short to medium term.

"That's our stand. The economic team is really for rice and food security," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters on the sidelines of the Dutertenomics forum on Tuesday.

He said the economic team maintained this position during the meeting of the National Food Authority (NFA) Council on Monday.

Pernia, along with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez are members of NFA Council.

Pernia, however, declined to give estimates of the volume of required rice imports.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel PiAol earlier said he was against rice importation "now", whether through government-to-government (G2G) contracts or private sector, amid projected bumper rice harvest this planting season.

He said importing rice should not be timed during harvest season.

Source: Philippines News Agency