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Press Release - Enhanced NFA, Rice Fund Among Proposed Amendments to Rice Tariffication Law in Robin Bill

Enhancing the National Food Authority (NFA) powers to manage the country's rice supply chain and enhancing the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) are the keys to stabilizing the price and supply of rice - and ultimately, giving Filipinos access to cheaper rice.

This was the gist of Sen. Robinhood "Robin" C. Padilla's Senate Bill 2672, which also sought the creation of a Rice Industry Development-Program Management Office (RID-PMO) to ensure a holistic approach and improve collaboration of rice-concerned agencies and industry players.

"The present amendatory bill seeks to restore the NFA's role in managing the country's supply chain. With the renewed and strengthened mandate of NFA in the amendatory bill, the stabilization of the price of rice will be guaranteed and supply functions will be regulated. Ultimately, access to cheaper rice will be more feasible for poor Filipinos," Padilla said in his bill, which proposes amendments to the Rice Tariffication Law (RA 11203).

He added the bill seeks to increase the RCEF and extend its validity for another six years, to further improve Filipino farmers' competitiveness and income.

Under the bill, Padilla proposed that the NFA exercise its authority to oversee and ensure compliance with all pertinent standards and regulations, "leveraging its established expertise and nationwide network to uphold the national interest in rice buffer stocking and food security."

Also, the NFA is empowered to:

Require the registration of all grains warehouses and maintain a national database of such registrations;

Inspect warehouses as necessary to ensure compliance with standards related to rice quality and supply;

Collect and analyze data on rice trade activities for informed policy and operational decisions

The Agriculture Secretary may declare an emergency upon the recommendation of the National Price Coordinating Council or Local Price Coordinating Council, due to the following conditions:

Shortage in the supply of rice;

Sustained increase in the price of rice;

Extraordinary increase in the price of rice

The NFA may use existing inventory to supply areas where extraordinary price increases or acute shortages of rice