News Release

DA wants to empower NFA on market price stabilization, supply regulation

The Department of Agriculture (DA) wants to give the National Food Authority (NFA) the power to stabilize rice prices and to regulate its supply in the market along with other significant amendments to the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).

DA spokesman Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said in a weekly news forum in Quezon City on Saturday that giving NFA the power to stabilize the price and regulate the supply of rice will be an effective measure should there be movements of rice prices in the market.

De Mesa said that empowering NFA is one the proposed amendments to the RTL, which is set to expire next year.

“So, ang proposed amendments doon, kung magkaroon uli ng extra ordinary events sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bigas at doon sa acute shortage ng supply ay pu-pwedeng mag-intervene uli sa merkado ang National Food Authority,” De Mesa said.

Allowing NFA again to have its regulatory function is also one of the proposed amendments to the RTL, which means grain warehouses will be allowed to register again with the NFA including inspection of warehouses.

The increase of Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (under RLT) is also one of the proposed amendments, which means that the annual PhP10 billion fund will be increased to PhP15 billion.

“Babaguhin din iyong specific allocation, so 50 percent will go to mechanization na pangungunahan ng PhilMech and then 30 percent will go to seeds sa PhilRice pa rin iyon, pero ang kaibahan ngayon, iyong kasalukuyang RTL ay inbreed lamang iyong pinapayagan na binhi,” De Mesa said.

“Ngayon, ang pinapayagan na iyong preferred seeds ng mga magsasaka, pero ang pamimilian nila ay inbreed and public hybrid. So, hindi pinapayagan iyong mga imported hybrid dito sa panukalang ameyenda,” he added.

Asked why is it important to allow NFA to buy rice from traders, De Mesa explained that if the NFA will be allowed to buy rice, it will lessen its expenses for drying and milling rice, among other significant measures. | PND