NFA to stop selling rice if Duterte signs tariffication law - exec

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2018 09:12 AM

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The National Food Authority will stop selling subsidized grain if President Rodrigo Duterte approves a proposed law removing the cap on rice importation, the body's officer-in-charge said Wednesday.

Under the current set-up, the NFA is tasked with stabilizing prices by buying grain from farmers and selling it at P27 and P32, cheaper compared to commercial rice.

The proposed Rice Tariffication Law, approved by Congress last November, will remove the NFA's power to import and distribute cheaper grain, said agency OIC Tomas Escarez.

The measure shall leave the agency with the sole task of buying grain from farmers to maintain buffer stocks for calamities and emergencies, he told radio DZMM.

The measure will also allow the "continuous inflow" of imported rice, which will raise supplies and bring down prices, he said, citing earlier statements by economic managers.

The NFA has a remaining 16 million bags of rice which could last for 250 days of market distribution, said Escarez.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign the Rice Tariffication law in December, Senator Cynthia Villar was earlier quoted as saying.

DZMM, 19 December 2018