By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato, Reporter
THE National Food Authority (NFA) is preparing for another import tender for 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice, after it declared a failed bidding on Friday.
NFA Deputy Administrator for Marketing Operations Judy Carol L. Dansal told reporters that the agency will discuss if it will revise its reference price for 15% broken rice and 25% broken rice, after receiving high bids from Vietnam and Thailand.
“We will send new invitations to the governments of Vietnam and Thailand to participate in another bidding possibly within the day,” she said.
Ms. Dansal noted the new tender will be held not later than May 4.
“I think it (delay) will only be for a few days… We will not change the date of the deadline for the them to arrive because we are trying all our best efforts to bring them, not later than June 30,” she said.
The NFA, which has a P6.1 billion budget for the procurement, has set a reference price of $483.63 per ton for a plan to import 50,000 MT of 15% broken rice, and $474.18 per ton for 200,000 MT of 25% broken rice.
However, Thailand and Vietnam — the two countries the Philippines has existing agreements to buy rice from — on Friday submitted bids that exceeded the NFA’s reference price.
Thailand did not submit any bid for the 15% broken rice, while it set a price of $530 per ton for 25% broken rice. It only pledged to ship 120,000 MT of 25% broken rice.
On the other hand, Vietnam offered bids of $540 and $532 per ton for 15% broken rice and 25% broken rice, respectively. It pledged to ship 50,000 MT of 15% broken rice and 100,000 MT for 25% broken rice, which were below the 250,000 MT demand of NFA.
Ms. Dansal said that should there be any delays in the importation due to the failed bid, local traders will have to support only up to five days.
“This is a G2G (government to government) procurement. Our governments are watching over us and they are supporting each other,” she added. “They are committed to help each other. We are positive because our neighbors are also friendly to the Philippine government.
Citing the province of Isabela, Ms. Dansal said it has committed 100 trucks carrying 500 bags of rice to be sold at P39 per kilo.
Early this week, Isabela rice traders brought in 14,000 bags of rice to be sold in Metro Manila.
Private traders earlier pledged to help the NFA regulate the price of rice in the market as ordered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
Rice traders from Nueva Ecija had earlier pledged to provide 300,000 bags every month to provide affordable rice in Metro Manila until the 250,000 MT of rice imports arrive.