NFA rice to disappear in the market?
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is not yet sure if the National Food Authority (NFA) will still be required to sell the affordable government-subsidized rice in the market once the Rice Tariffication Law is signed.
The Rice Tariffication Law, which is now up for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature, will signal the liberalization of rice importation in the country with corresponding set of tariffs.
The entry of more imported rice in the country is expected to bring down the cost of commercial rice in the local market since the supply coming abroad is cheaper than locally produced rice.
Because of this reason, the lawmakers decided to strip NFA’s mandate to stabilize the price in the market by selling subsidized rice.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in reports that if the NFA will still be required to sell NFA rice in the market post-tariffication, it could no longer sell at P27 per kilo because it may result to losses for the agency.
“With the tariffication, NFA will have no role in the market. If rice is locally sourced, it is more expensive than the imported ones,” Piñol said, adding that the agency may no longer sell NFA rice in the latter part of next year.
Starting 2019, the agency will only have to rely on local procurement to boost its stock.