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Milagrosa with Red
Duterte offers citizenship, cabinet post to French businessman for work in rice production
NO MORE NFA IMPORTATION;
PH FARMERS TO SUPPLY RICE
By Manny Piñol
When President Rody Duterte signs the Rice Tariffication and Liberalization Bill soon, the National Food Authority (NFA) will no longer be allowed to import rice for its buffer stocks.
Instead, the NFA will be focused on the procurement of palay produced by Filipino farmers.
This is a welcome development not only for the Filipino farmers but also for top officials of the Department of Agriculture and the NFA who advocate for a change in the image of the rice agency.
Through the years of its involvement in the rice importation program for buffer stocking, suspicions were rife that there were financial transactions involved where officials raked in money.
The very tight importation requirements also led to corruption even in the awarding of import permits.
On orders of President Duterte, the importation requirements were eased up allowing the private sector now to bring in rice with less hassle.
I have long advocated for local procurement even at a higher government support price because it assures our farmers of a market and stable income.
For us in the DA, who were not spared from intrigues in the highly profitable business of rice importation, this will be a welcome relief.
In 2019, the NFA has allocated P7-B for local palay procurement.
South Korean coop to build farm equipment assembly plant in PH
NFA has failed for the third time to secure supply for bulk of the 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice it has been ordered to import for the remainder of the year as Vietnam and Thailand — the only countries with existing rice trade agreement with the Philippines — won’t sell their rice at cheaper price.
PRESYO NG BIGAS | Epektibo na sa Sabado ang suggested retail price (SRP) para sa bigas. Sisimulan muna itong ipatupad sa Metro Manila sa weekend.
Ang mahuhuling lumabag sa SRP ay maaaring makansela ang lisensya, pagmultahin o kaya'y maharap sa reklamong kriminal.
P17 plus P3.70 per kilo
NFA ALLOTS P6.7-B TO BUY
FARMERS' PALAY PRODUCE
By Manny Piñol
The National Food Authority (NFA) yesterday launched its national local paddy rice procurement program in San Jose, Mindoro Occidental by offering an additional incentive of P3 per kilo, on top of the P17.70 per kilo buying price for clean and dry paddy rice.
The P3 additional incentive per kilo marks the first time that the NFA provided a higher payment for the farmers' produce since 2008 when the buying price of palay was increased from P11 to P17.
An initial fund of P6.7-B has been allocated for the aggressive local palay procurement program as the NFA builds up its buffer stocks in compliance with President Rody Duterte's directive to increase the rice reserves of the country.
The local procurement program with the added incentive is also aimed at establishing a support price for farmers who maybe affected by the lifting of the Quantitative Restrictions (QR) on imported rice.
The program is expected to procure an estimated 320,000 metric tons of clean and dry palay or 224,000-metric tons of rice.
In addition to the 750,000-metric tons to be imported before the end of the year, the NFA will have an estimated 1-million metric tons of rice buffer stocks by the start of 2019.
Yesterday, in a forum attended by farmers of Mindoro Occidental, I signed the Memorandum Circular implementing the Buffer Stock Incentive (BSI) which effectively increases the earnings of farmers to P20.70 per kilo.
The signing signalled a national-wide adjustment of the buying price in 37 provinces with surplus rice production.
In addition to the BSI, the Department of Agriculture (DA), now the Mother Agency of the NFA, will provide drying facilities in the NFA Buying Stations which the farmers could use for free.
A reward program for farmers associations and cooperatives who will deliver their palay to the NFA has also been started.
Farm machinery and equipment will be given to farmers associations and cooperativea who will deliver huge volumes to the NFA.
The machinery and equipment will include Turtle Tillers, Power Tillers, Farm Tractors, Transplanters, Harvesters and Solar Powered Irrigation Systems.
A DA technical working group is now drafting guidelines for additional incentives like free rice seeds and free fertilizers for farmers groups who will deliver their produce to the NFA.
(Photos of the launching of the BSI program in San Jose, Mindoro Occidental yesterday were taken by the Biyaheng Bukid Team of the Dept. of Agriculture.)
Goodbye fake "Dinorado!"
NFA TO STOP MISLABELLING,
RICE OVERPRICING IN MARKET
By Manny Piñol
On Monday, October 8, the National Food Authority (NFA) Council will hold a special meeting to address very urgent measures, including the mislabelling and overpricing of rice in the market.
The NFA Council will also set guidelines on the proper identification of imported rice and local rice in the market to protect the consumers.
For so long, rice outlets in the public markets and even supermarkets have been involved in the mislabelling of rice to justify the high prices.
"Sinandomeng," "Angelica," "Jasmine" and "Dinorado" are among the common names given to commercial rice sold in the market at prices as high as P55 to P60 per kilo.
The truth is, aside from "Dinorado" and "Jasmine," there is no such thing as "Sinandomeng" or "Angelica" rice varieties.
Worse, the "Dinorado" and "Jasmine" sold in the market are not the real rice varieties, thus the retailers are guilty of deception and unfair trade practice.
On Monday, I will ask the NFA Council to act on this age-old problem and put an end to it.
I will submit to the NFAC a proposal that henceforth, rice sold in the market should only be labelled as Regular Milled Rice, Well-Milled Rice, Long Grain Head Rice and Special Rice which would include Heirloom and Organic Rice.
I will also ask the NFAC to issue guidelines on the proper identification of Imported Rice and Local Rice.
It will be recommended that the NFA licenses of traders and retailers who will violate these proposed guidelines will be cancelled.
Other matters which will be taken up during the next NFAC meeting include:
1. Introduction of the Rice-Corn Mix staple in the NFA outlets and the procurement by NFA of White Corn Grits or White Corn Grains;
2. Start of NFA buying operations of locally produced paddy rice at P17 per kilo plus additional incentives valued at P3 per kilo;
3. Installation by the Department of Agriculture of drying facilities in the NFA buying stations to be used for free by farmers who will sell their produce to the NFA.
The NFA Council meeting on Monday will be the second to be convened after the NFA, along with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA), was placed under the Department of Agriculture.
UNTV News and Rescue
EKSKLUSIBO: First market inspection ng DA matapos mailipat ang NFA sa kanila; NFA rice dadagdagan sa palengke. via Rey Pelayo
There is hope...
Hard work begins!
"I'M HUMBLED BY YOUR TRUST,
CONFIDENCE, MR. PRESIDENT"
Yesterday, President Rody Duterte presided over a small group meeting which included the Chairman of the Development Bank of the Philippines, the President of Land Bank and the Secretary of Agriculture where he issued directives that the lending programs of both banks should be made easier and accessible to agriculture and fisheries stakeholders.
I did not have any idea at the time that he had already signed Executive Order Number 62 which transferred back to the Department of Agriculture three agencies - the National Food Authority (NFA), the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority - which were placed under the Office of the President during the previous administration.
It was only after the meeting when I learned that EO 62 had been signed by the President and released by the Malacanang Records Office.
I am humbled by the President's trust and confidence but at the same time, I also understand his huge expectations.
There are, of course, issues which must be resolved in the coconut industry which is under PCA and the fertilizer and pesticides sector which is under FPA.
The burning issue of the day, however, is the NFA and the messy situation it is in right now.
The image of the NFA as an agency which bungled the rice importation program which led to a spike in the prices of commercial rice in the market must be corrected.
Most of all, the NFA must be able to reassure the people that there is enough rice stocks - and the truth is there is really enough rice supply - to calm the market and stabilize the prices.
There are also fundamental issues which must be addressed including the proposal to increase the buying price of paddy rice produced by the Filipino farmers, actions against rice hoarding, ensuring availability of NFA rice especially in areas recently hit by Typhoon Ompong and perceptions of corruption in the agency.
Today, I will meet with the top officials of the NFA and start cracking the whip.
On Monday, Sept. 24, I will preside over the first NFA Council meeting where the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture sits as Chair of the NFAC.
The task is gargantuan and daunting but I will do my best to live up to the expectations of the President and the Filipino people.
Thank you, Mr. President!
Subsidized rice will soon be available in supermarkets, as part of the government’s measure to lower the prices of the Filipino staple.
Farm-gate price of palay nears P21–PSA
NFA eyes new tender for 250,000 MT rice shipment after failed bidding
SRP, nais ipangontra sa P50/kilo ng bigas
Quo vadis NFA?
COUNTRY NEEDS A REAL
NATIONAL FOOD AGENCY
By Manny Piñol
Secretary of Agriculture
Whatever fate awaits the National Food Authority (NFA), whether it goes back to its mother agency, the Department of Agriculture, or it remains with the Office of the President, the fact remains that it is a vital agency which if operated properly could ensure food supply stability in the country.
In fact, it could even contribute to greater foreign earnings for farmers and the country as a whole if it performs the role of a National Export Agency which will promote and find markets for agricultural and fisheries products of the Philippines.
Over the years, the tragedy which befell on Filipino farmers and consumers is for the NFA to operate just as "a rice agency" whose task is to bring in imported rice, a function marked with issues of corruption.
The NFA should be more than just a rice importing or a rice price stabilizing agency. It should function just as the name suggests - National Food Authority.
In the book "Feeding Millions" which I wrote and published shortly before the elections of 2016, I said that the role of the NFA in the country's food security program should be expanded beyond just buying palay locally or importing rice.
The NFA, aside from local palay procurement and rice importation, should also perform the following functions:
1. Establish and operate Regional Food Terminals which would consolidated all food commodities produced in excess in a region which then would be re-positioned in areas where these are needed.
An example of this would be the fruits of Mindanao being moved to Metro Manila and Luzon; the vegetables of the Cordillera shipped to the Visayas and Mindanao; fish from Zamboanga, Sulu, Basilan and Tawitawi brought to Metro Manila and the excess egg and chicken production of Luzon forwarded to the islands of the country.
2. Establish and operate Kadiwa TienDA outlets to allow low-income families to have access to fairly priced food commodities and where food commodities consolidated from the different regions of the country could also be offered.
3. Act as the National Agricultural Export Agency of farmers and fisherfolk who would like to penetrate foreign markets.
As it is now, farmers and fisherfolk are left on their own to find foreign markets for their products like bananas, mango, sardines, pineapple, bangus, tilapia, processed food and other products.
Only big corporations operating large farms in coordination with multi-national companies are able to find export markets for their produce.
In other countries, there are export agencies tasked to promote their farmers and fishermen's products like India where an agency handles Buffalo Meat export and Vietnam where government agencies are tasked to promote and export their rice produce.
The NFA is accredited by the World Trade Organization as the only Trading Agency of the Philippines and yet it has never taken advantage of this.
Acting as the export agency of the Filipino farmers and fisherfolks and other high value crops producers could generate revenues for the NFA and make it financially viable.
These are roles which the NFA could perform regardless of whether it is under the Department of Agriculture or the Office of the President.
What is needed to allow the NFA to do these very important tasks would be to form a policy making body, as in the National Food Authority Council, which understands that there is more to food security than just importing and selling rice.
Unless reforms are done, the NFA will forever wallow in deep debts because it is solely performing a function which causes billions of pesos in losses every year.
(Attached photos were downloaded from public websites.)
Pledge to Pres. Duterte
LUZON RICE TRADERS TO SUPPLY
P39/KILO RICE TO NFA OUTLETS
By Manny Piñol
Rice traders from Luzon last night promised to President Rody Duterte that they will flood Metro Manila markets with newly-milled local rice to be sold at P39 per kilo.
The rice traders told Pres. Duterte during last night ‘s forum in Malacañang that the first delivery of 100,000 bags will be channeled through the National Food Aithority (NFA) which in turn will distribute the rice at P38 per kilo to its outlets in Metro Manila.
The rice outlets will sell rice at P39 per kilo for a profit of P50 per bag.
The traders said they will deliver 100,000 bags every week until the rice imported by the NFA will arrive in the country.
The pledge of sufficient low-cost rice supply by the traders came during the meeting with the President which I suggested during the last NFA Council meeting.
In his message at the opening of the forum, Pres. duterte appealed to the rice traders to be considerate in the pricing of rice so that consumers will not be hurt.
“I know that you are all businessmen and that you have to make a profit but I am appealing to you not to overprice or hoard rice,” Pres. Duterte told the rice traders.
The meeting also allowed the rice traders to share with Pres. Duterte their problems, including extortion activties of Land Transportation Office personnel in a weighing scale station in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.
The President immediately acted on their concerns.
#Changeishere! #DuterteDelivers! #BungaNgPakiusap!
(Photos were taken during the Rice Traders Forum in Malacañang last night.)
Face to face meeting!
PRES. DUTERTE SUMMONS
COUNTRY'S RICE TRADERS
By Manny Piñol
President Rody Duterte today instructed the National Food Authority to invite the country's big rice traders to "share coffee" with him to discuss the national rice supply situation.
"You invite them. Sabihin mo mag kape lang kami," Pres. Duterte instructed NFA Administrator Jason Aquino during the NFA Council meeting in Malacañang.
The President's instruction followed a recommendation which I relayed to him during the meeting.
Industry stakeholders suggested that Pres. Duterte should persuade the big traders not to hoard rice stocks and manipulate prices in the market.
I actually attended the NFA Council meeting for the first time since I was appointed Agriculture Secretary.
This followed the instruction of Pres. Duterte to include DA in the meeting after I asked during the last Cabinet meeting that the Agriculture Department be invited.
The President said he would like to convey to the traders his wish that the Filipino consumers would not be made to suffer from high prices of rice.
"Not during my watch," the President said repeating a statement he made earlier.
The NFA Administrator said he will issue the invitation to the traders immediately.
La Trinidad, Benguet
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