PITC not pursuing
300,000 MT rice importation plan
June 26, 2020
MANILA – Following
the official communication from Department of Agriculture (DA)
Secretary William Dar, the Philippine International Trading Center (PITC),
which is an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry
(DTI), is no longer proceeding with the planned
government-to-government (G2G) importation of 300,000 metric ton
(MT) of rice that was initially targeted to arrive during the lean
months of July and August.
DTI Secretary Ramon M.
Lopez clarified, "Under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), PITC is
the agency tasked to merely implement any directive from DA to
import rice under a G2G arrangement. The provisions of the RTL
basically opens up rice importation to any private group."
He added: "It will be
recalled that the initial decision for the G2G importation plan was
a result of the potential threat to maintaining a good buffer supply
of rice for the country. Earlier computations from DA showed a
threat to the targeted level of buffer stock following the imposed
ban of rice exportation of Vietnam in April."
serves as a major import source of the Philippines, accounting for
over 90% of our country’s rice imports. The Philippines imports
around 7-14% of total rice requirement.
Upon intervention of
President Duterte, the Vietnamese government, through Prime Minister
Nguyen Xuan Phuc, agreed to lift its rice export ban policy making a
commitment to the Philippine President that Vietnam will contribute
to securing a stable supply of food in the country.
"With the lifting of the
rice export ban of Vietnam, we can expect more comfortable buffer
stock levels moving forward," the trade chief said.
Agriculture Secretary Dar
noted: “Also, with the rice imports handled by the private sector
traders as stipulated by the RTL, their purchase of rice imports
will mean generating greater tariff revenues for the government
which, under the RTL, will be used to fund the Rice Competitiveness
Enhancement Fund (RCEF). RCEF is meant to boost productivity and
income of the country’s rice farmers.”