By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato
THE National Food Authority (NFA) has failed to secure the remaining balance for the additional 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice after the governments of Thailand and Vietnam has pulled out from the bidding.
In a statement on Tuesday, the state-owned grains agency disclosed that both countries, in separate letters opened during the Opening of the Bids, said that they could not comply with the terms of reference (TOR) set by the NFA for the bidding of 203,000 MT of 25% broken long, white grain rice.
Vietnam and Thailand are the two countries which the Philippines can source its imported rice from in a government-to-government procurement scheme through a Memorandum of Agreement on Rice Trade.
Adul Chotinisakorn, Director General of the Department of Foreign Trade of Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce, in a letter dated Nov. 5, said that complying with the TOR “remains difficult” despite the amendments set by the NFA.
Likewise, Vietnam Southern Food Corp.’s (Vinafood 2) Deputy General Director Bach Ngoc Van, in a letter dated Nov. 6, also said that they could not meet the TOR without going into specifics.
The failed bidding was set to be a continuation from the last bidding on Oct. 18, which was done through an Open Tender scheme. Only 47,000 MT of the 250,000 MT offered was awarded to three suppliers: Vietnam Northern Food Corp. won the bid to supply 14,000 MT of rice; Vinafood 2, 15,000 MT of rice; and Thai Capital Crops, Co., Ltd., 18,000 MT of rice.
The result of the failed bidding is yet to be reported to the NFA Council.