MANILA - The National Food Authority Council has approved the importation of an additional 500,000 metric tons of rice, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said Monday.
Piñol said this will be on top of the previously imported 250,000 metric tons of rice—a move that was made earlier this year to boost local stocks amid supposed problems on local supply.
The NFA Council also approved a standby importation of 1 million metric tons of rice for next year, he said, telling rice hoarders to release their stocks in the market.
"You better release your stocks in the market or else pag inabutan kayo ng importation ng NFA, masasagasaan 'yung stocks niyo," Piñol said.
The Agriculture chief earlier said rice prices will likely stabilize in November with the help of imports. He insisted there is no rice shortage but some traders may have hoarded supply.
President Rodrigo Duterte has recently returned NFA management to the Department of Agriculture.
Duterte's Executive Order No. 62 also reorganized the NFA Council, making the Agriculture Secretary its chairman. The council was previously headed by Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco.