Consumers are assured of a year-round supply of low-priced rice after government legislation trimmed the importation period to 28 days.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said traders can now import without the hassle of waiting for the rice shipments to arrive by at least two months after the Anti-Red Tape Authority required all import documentary requirements to be ready within three days.
There were only two ways of bringing in rice imports before—through government-to-government and government-to-private sector arrangements.
The G2G scheme was the fastest process but it was prone to corruption and price-rigging, while government-to-private sector scheme takes about two months before the shipment arrives.
With the new set-up, the government is optimistic it would be able to facilitate the quick turnaround of imports and assure customers of a healthy supply of the staple.
“As inventories come in, we are assured that there will be sufficient supply. Prices may also go down while traders stock up. This is a scenario we are hoping to achieve with the new law,” said Lopez.