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NFA apprehends 614 rice businessmen in Q1 of 2018

Authority intensified its rice market monitoring to avert any illegal activities, the agency apprehended a total of 614 violators during the first three months of the year for various offenses.

According to the report of the Security Services & Investigation Department (SSID), NFA Enforcement Officers inspected 6,986 establishments nationwide during the period and 614 were found to have violated various trading laws under P.D. No. 4, and other pertinent laws enforced by the agency as the regulating body in the grains industry.

Most notable among the violations were: non-renewal of NFA license, operating without license, non-compliance to the prescribed rice box and display of price tags and signboards.

There were also few NFA rice retailers who were apprehended for re-bagging of NFA rice, over-pricing of NFA rice and diversion of NFA rice. The NFA implements “one-strike” policy, which strips accredited NFA retailers of their accreditation if found violating any of these serious offenses.

In this effort, NFA also collected a total of P 7,901,675.00 in penalties and enforcement fees from the erring businessmen.

By law, it is part of the function of NFA to ensure industry regulation and development by conducting monitoring of the grains market and businessmen; enforcement of rules and regulations governing grains business. It also covers licensing and registration of all rice and corn business; and promotion of harmonious and productive relationship among rice and corn industry stakeholders to achieve sectoral efficiency, discipline and growth.

NFA administrator Jason L.Y. Aquino, in one of his standing orders to all NFA enforcement agents and monitoring teams admonished them to be very vigilant in watching over the rice market, especially during the start of the year when the NFA stocks were getting low without immediate replenishment in sight.

The administrator commended the NFA enforcement officers, saying their effort in constant market monitoring averted illegal trading practices in the rice business.

Last year (2017), the NFA enforcement officers recorded 2,156 violations by grains businessmen and collected a total of P12.2 millions from fines and enforcement fees.

Meanwhile, the NFA successfully awarded recently the supply of 250,000 metric tons rice imports to the governments of Vietnam and Thailand after a reopening of offers from both countries. The two governments adjusted their offers, lowering their prices, to match NFA’s reference price.

The supply of 80,000 MT of 25% broken rice and 50,000 MT of 15% broken rice was offered by Vietnam for the price of $517.50/MT and $520/MT, respectively.

The government of Thailand initially offered $520/MT for the supply of 120,000 MT of 25% broken rice, but consequently adjusted their price to match Vietnam’s $517.50/ MT for the same volume.

NFA’s reference price was set at $531/MT for the 15% broken and $520.50/MT for the 25% broken rice, based on the prevailing world market prices and the peso-dollar exchange rate as of yesterday, May 3, 2018.

After the Notice of Award, the two supplying countries will be given four working da ys t o post their Performance Bond, after which they will be issued a Notice to Proceed, which means the supplier countries can already start loading and shipping their awarded volume.

“We are happy that we have successfully completed the bidding for this initial NFA rice import of 250,000 MT so that we can immediately replenish our buffer stock and bring back our P27/kg and P32/kg NFA rice back in the markets,” NFA administrator Jason Aquino said.

Of the total volume, Thailand will bring in 60,000 MT of 25% broken rice not later than May 31, 2018, and the balance of 60,000 MT not later than June 15, 2018. Vietnam will bring in 40,000 MT of 25% broken rice not later May 31, 2018, and another 40,000 MT not later than June 15, 2018. The 50,000 MT of 15% broken rice will be shipped by Vietnam to the designated ports not later than June 30, 2018.

The designated ports for the delivery of the 25% broken imported rice are: Poro Pt, La Union; Subic; Batangas; Tabaco;Iloilo; Bacolod; Cebu City; Tacloban; Zamboanga City; Cagayan de Oro; Davao City; Gen. Santos City; Manila; and Surigao City.

For the 15% broken rice, designated ports are: Subic; Cebu City; Davao City; and Manila.

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