The Philippine Government has decided to import an additional 200 tonnes
of rice from Vietnam in a bid to stabilize stockpiles of the National
Food Authority (NFA), according to a senior government official.
Francis Pangilinan, assistant to the President on food security and
agriculture modernization, said the decision came after the June 26
working session between the President Benigno Aquino and several
high-ranking cabinet members.
The President and
officials discussed the sudden hike in prices of a number of essential
goods, including rice, planning to buy 800,000 tonnes of rice abroad to
supplement the national reserves.
ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to work together with the
Justice Ministry to investigate reports on acts of speculation in food.
The Philippines, one of the world’s biggest rice
buyers, expects to keep import restrictions in place until 2017 after
winning international support to maintain the curbs, said Agriculture
Secretary Processo J. Alcala on June 23.
means the government will continue imposing a 40 percent duty on rice
shipments for a yearly “minimum access volume” of 350,000 tonnes, most
of which are from Vietnam, one of the world’s top rice exporters.
The NFA has bought a total of 1.3 million tonnes of
Vietnamese rice tariff free, its biggest purchase since 2010, to boost
dwindling stockpiles and curb local hike prices.-VNA