Gov't rushing importation of 250,000 metric tons of rice


Posted at Feb 09 2018 10:13 AM | Updated as of Feb 09 2018 12:00 PM

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MANILA - The government is rushing the importation of 250,000 metric tons of rice to build its buffer that has fallen below the target level, a spokesperson for the state grains agency said Friday.

The inter-agency National Food Authority Council will meet on Monday to decide whether to import rice commercially or through government-to-government channels, said NFA spokesman Rex Estoperez.

"Sa isip ng NFA council, ang pinakamabilis na matugunan yung ating buffer stock at madagdagan para sa ating mga kababayan," Estoperez told DZMM.

(The NFA is thinking of ways to speed up, add more to our buffer stock, to help our countrymen.)

Estoperez said the NFA's buffer was at roughly 1.2 million bags or equivalent to 2 days supply, when it is required to keep up to 9.6 million bags or 15 days supply.

There is "no crisis" in commercial rice supply despite the inadequate buffer, Estoperez said.

President Rodrigo Duterte authorized the importation of 250,000 metric tons this week, according to Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, who chairs the NFA Council.

Evasco said 370,000 tons of the table that were bought last year would be shipped to the country in February.