DA’s Alcala, Calayag must answer for overpriced NFA rice imports in 2013
Administrator Orlan A. Calayag has proudly announced that the National Food Authority (NFA) saved P1.41 billion in the most recent importation of 800,000 metric tons (mt) of rice with 15-percent brokens, which was bought from Vinafoods of Vietnam at an average price of $438/mt. But will the NFA administrator please explain to the public why we paid more for the 500,000 mt of 25-percent brokens bought last year at $462.25/mt, shortly after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” struck, from the same supplier, Vinafoods?
According to Manuel Q. Bondad in his letter “Is NFA’s P17-B rice imports via bidding the best option?” Opinion, 4/7/14), there is a $20-dollar gap, per mt, between the price of the 15-percent brokens and the 25-percent brokens. It follows that the cost of the 2013 imported rice with 25-percent brokens should have been only about $418 ($438 minus $20)/mt. Therefore, the price difference between what we actually paid and what we should have paid was $44 ($462.25-$418.00)/mt. Therefore, the overprice or kickback for the 500,000 mt of rice imported year after Yolanda could have reached as high as $22 million or about P1 billion!
On this basis, the Office of the Ombudsman should seriously study the plunder charges filed against Agriculture Secretary Prospero Alcala and NFA Administrator Calayag in connection with the NFA rice importation last year.
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