NFA invokes emergency powers to ship in rice
The National Food Authority (NFA) said it will draw up its emergency power to import 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice, a “much needed” volume — this, on top of the previously approved 250,000 MT — amid empty stocks.
“We are now in the process of crafting the terms of reference for the emergency purchase of some 250,000. It will be out any time soon. It just needs the approval of the President,” the Manila Times’ source said in the news agency’s report published over the weekend.
Emergency shipments will not require the approval of the NFA council, the interagency governing body that decides on rice importation.
This is within the ambit of the state-run grains agency’s mandate. Through this purchase, the NFA may also resort to alternative methods of procurement, whichsoever hastens the import transaction
The source said the volume to be purchased from either Vietnam or Thailand under a government-to-government deal is being considered to go through the Swiss challenge scheme.
The emergency volume is planned to arrive ahead of the 250,000 metric tons earlier authorized by the NFA Council to arrive in late May or June.
This will bring total import for this year, so far, to 500,000 MT. Although, the agency said it is also looking at bringing that volume through emergency purchase.