National Food Authority (NFA) of Philippines is finally pushing through with the procurement of 250,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of milled rice as part of the planned government to private sector (G2P) importation scheme. The NFA is inviting bids for the supply contract of 250,000 MT of 25 percent brokens long grain white rice well-milled. Of the total volume, 100,000 MT will be discharged in the port of Manila, 30,000 MT in Batangas, 25,000 MT each in Tabaco, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, 20,000 MT in Poro Pt. in La Union, 15,000 MT in Davao and 10,000 MT in General Santos City. The imported volume is expected to arrive starting August until September, the period of the lean season. The new scheme would be more competitive, least corrupt and transparent. Instead of limiting the bidders to government counterparts, private suppliers from participating countries may now be allowed to participate in the bidding, making the whole process covered by the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using a non-discretionary pass/fail criterion as specified in the 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Government Procurement Reform Act. Prospective bidders may bid for any of the lots provided that the bid must be the minimum or maximum of the imported rice allocated per lot but the maximum quantity to be awarded per supplier must not be higher than 50,000 MT. NFA said rice must be shipped in break bulk where packing shall be in 50 kilograms net each in woven polypropylene bags suitable for rice export with NFA markings, designs and specifications. Winning bidders shall deliver the goods free of obligations and expenses of NFA up to NFA’s designated warehouses.
In the new scheme, the NFA must have at least a 30-day buffer stock to meet the requirements of victims of calamities and emergencies. Based on computations, the 250,000 MT can only cover for seven days. Following the 32,000 MT daily consumption of the country, at least 544,000 MT is needed to maintain the agency’s buffer stocking mandate. Current NFA inventory can only last for five days compared to its mandated buffer stock. The NFA is mandated to maintain a food security reserve good for at least 15 days at any given time. In previous years, NFA auctions for rice were done through a government-to-government importation regime where state-run suppliers from Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia were invited to participate. Amid efforts to check opportunities for corruption in grains procurement, the Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Leoncio Evasco, who also chairs the NFA’s governing body, said that the NFA would continue to import milled rice, but only from private-sector suppliers.