Marcos, who’s additionally the agriculture chief, had met with agriculture officers to debate provide and costs of the nationwide staple which is a key element of inflation that hit a 14-year excessive in January earlier than cooling to a six-month low in March. “When it comes to the overall provide for the nation, I feel we’re in fine condition and though we nonetheless must import, our importations have come down,” he mentioned.
The Philippines is likely one of the world’s largest rice producers, nevertheless it often buys from main suppliers like Thailand and Vietnam to assist fill manufacturing gaps brought on by typhoons. Pricing in provide and demand for this yr, the nation’s buffer inventory could be at 1.69 million metric tons, equal to 45 days or half of the perfect stock, in keeping with the assertion.
Agriculture officers have mentioned rice imports this yr will probably attain round 2.5 million metric tons, from about 3.5 million metric tons final yr.
Solely non-public merchants are allowed to import rice topic to a tariff below a legislation handed in 2019, which eliminated the import licensing operate of the Nationwide Meals Authority. Thus far, non-public merchants have introduced in 790,449 metric tons into the nation, the assertion mentioned.
Agriculture Undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla mentioned in a mobile-phone message that government-to-government imports of rice is just allowed with a “declaration of a provide emergency,” and to be coursed by way of one other company, the Philippine Worldwide Buying and selling Company.
Present rice harvest is “good and costs are additionally good,” Agriculture Undersecretary Leo Sebastian mentioned in a separate mobile-phone message. Sebastian mentioned he expects output to rise this yr with costs of inputs together with fertilizer additionally dropping.
Marcos mentioned he’s assured there received’t be a scarcity in rice provide and that the federal government is taking a look at methods “to regulate costs in order that they received’t go up an excessive amount of.”