NFA Council allows private sector to import rice

MANILA The National Food Authority (NFA) Council has authorized the private sector to import rice beyond the minimum access volume (MAV) in an effort to bring down the prices of rice, MalacaAang said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the private traders will be allowed to import rice since MAV is the smallest amount of rice the country will purchase from other countries this year.

The NFA Council, therefore, allows further importation of rice by the private sector. I repeat, it's for private sector to import rice beyond the minimum access volume for 2018, Roque said.

He said the Palace has asked the cooperation of the NFA administration, headed by Jason Aquino, on the NFA Council's move to stabilize the rice supply in the country.

It would be better, he said, if the private sector would do the rice importation as it is faster and will avoid corruption.

Pangatlo po, patungo na naman talaga tayo doon dahil iyong rice tariffication na na-approve na ng Mababang Kapulungan (Thirdly, we are heading there because rice tariffication was also approved by the Lower House), he added.

Roque said the Senate is also expected to pass the rice tariffication bill which, he said, would reduce rice smuggling.

Kapag ginawa mo nang legal ang importasyon para sa lahat ng mga mangangalakal, eh 'di mawawala na po iyong incentive na mag-smuggle (If the importation for every trader is legalized, the incentive to smuggle would disappear), he said.

At present, Roque said NFA remains under the supervision of the Office of the Executive Secretary.

It is up to President Rodrigo Duterte if NFA would be brought back to the Department of Agriculture, he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency