Nov 302013
Money supply expands to P6.3 T in October

MANILA, Philippines – Demand for money continues to grow in October  as domestic liquidity (M3) rose 32.5 percent year-on-year to P6.3 trillion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed. The rise was slightly faster than the 31.3 percent expansion recorded in September. M3 is one of the economic indicators being watched closely by the central monetary authority as this may have an impact on the country’s inflation rate. It consists of money supply, peso, savings and time deposits and deposit substitutes of money generating banks or deposit money banks. If the M3 level is high, this means there is too much money in the financial system. which may trigger inflationary pressures. On a month-on-month basis, seasonally-adjusted M3 increased two percent, similar to the expansion record the previous month. The BSP attributed the money supply growth to the sustained  expansion in domestic claims, or credits to the domestic economy. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Domestic claims grew 11.6 percent in October from 10.9 percent in September due to the continued increase in claims on the private sector (16.2 percent), in line with the sustained growth in bank lending. Net claims on the public sector, on the other hand, rose five percent in October, largely as a result of the increase in credits to the government. Net foreign assets (NFA) also grew 10.5 percent, from 7.7 percent in September. The BSP said its NFA position improved on the back of robust foreign exchange inflows from remittances, BPO receipts Read More …

Nov 082013
NFA asks BOC to block illegal rice imports

MANILA, Philippines – The National Food Authority (NFA) has asked the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to watch out for the possible illegal entry of 120,000 metric tons (MT) of rice from Vietnam. In letter dated Oct. 21, NFA administrator Orlan Calayag informed Customs commissioner Rufino Biazon of reports of an agreement between unnamed Filipino traders with Vietnam Food Association for the supply of such volume. “This agreement was made without prior consent from the NFA,” said Calayag. A wires report last month said that Vietnam has signed contracts to sell 120,000 of rice to private companies in the Philippines. “For your information, the planned importation is in violation of Republic Act 8178 and Presidential Decree No. 4, as amended,” Calayag said in his letter. “Rice cannot be imported in the Philippines without an import permit from the NFA.” Calayag noted that Republic Act 8178 also known as “The Agricultural Tariffication Act,” mandates the NFA to require importation permits for rice shipments upon assessment of the current supply. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 NFA also informed the BOC that rice is being smuggled into the country in container vans from Vietnam through ports in Thailand, Singapore or Taiwan. Earlier, the NFA asked BOC to go after five traders that have allegedly smuggled into the country, through the port of Davao,  243,000 50-kilogram bags of rice. The shipments, which originated from Vietnam arrived betwen July and September. The NFA said the shipments were sent to the Philippines via Read More …

Oct 302013
Palace: Review shows NFA chief qualified to hold post

National Food Authority (NFA) chief Orlan Calayag is qualified to hold his position despite questions on his true citizenship, Malacañang said Wednesday. “Based on an assessment of the documents provided by Mr. Orlan Calayag, he has met all the qualifications necessary to hold his current position,” the Office of the Executive Secretary said in a statement released to the media. The Palace issued the statement a day after it said that “there in an ongoing review and verification process to address other issues pertinent to his [Calayag] appointment.“ The development came amid reports that Calayag was reportedly an American citizen. A report in Manila Standard Today said Aquino had antedated the tenure of Calayag by six months to skirt the election ban on midnight apppointments, which the Palace had denied. Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. explained that Calayag served the unexpired term of Angelito Banayo from the date of his first appointment on January 17, 2013. Coloma added that Calayag was reappointed on July 12, 2013, which he said is “in accordance with Republic Act 10149 or the GCG Law.”  — Kimberly Jane Tan/KBK, GMA News

Sep 122013
Agri chief denies rice crisis, vows to go after ‘saboteurs’

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the National Food Authority will name the parties behind the hoarding of rice will be named soon, but not while an investigation is still ongoing. She said the NFA is not keen on publicizing names at this time, lest those involved be tipped off. MANILA, Sept 9 (Mabuhay) – There is no rice crisis. This was the categorical statement from the government as it vows to go after “influential people” potentially involved in rice smuggling who are floating the rice shortage scenario, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said Monday. In an interview after his agency’s budget hearing at the Senate, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala belied reports that the government will import more rice this year to address a supposed rice crisis. “Hindi ko nga po alam kung saan nanggagaling ang kwento na magi-import na naman ng panibago ang bansa natin. Hindi po tayo magi-import. Wala pong crisis sa bigas,” he said. During the hearing, National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Orlan Calayag said the country currently has a total rice buffer stock of 1.7 million metric tons, which he said is enough to last for 51 days. “That’s even more than what we are required to keep,” Calayag said. “Wala po kaming nakikitang shortage in terms of production.” The NFA chief added that some rice traders may be behind reports of rice shortage in an effort to hike up the prices of their remaining stocks ahead of the harvesting season. “Ito po kasi ang kaunting window Read More …

Jul 202013
Lawmaker urges gov't to unload P1.4-B smuggled rice to soften prices

A lawmaker is urging government to unload its large inventory of impounded smuggled rice, worth some P1.4 billion, to soften the staple’s price, which has temporarily gone up by P2 per kilo due to seasonal factors. “Government should draw on some 600,000 sacks of confiscated rice to thwart any upward pressure on prices,” said LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty, House trade and industry committee member. “Right now, these highly perishable sacks of seized rice from Vietnam are just wasting away,” he said in a press release on Sunday. His remarks came shortly after the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported the theft of at least 100 sacks of smuggled rice stashed in a container yard at the Cebu International Port. Ty is counting on the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to resolve the impasse over the disposition of smuggled rice shipments. The sacks of smuggled rice are in the custody of the BOC, which is under the supervision of the DOF. The Customs claimed, however, it has no choice but to sell the contraband at a competitive public auction. But the National Food Authority (NFA), which is under the DA, has offered to buy the sequestered rice at a negotiated price. “The NFA should be allowed to purchase the rice from the BOC under an agency-to-agency contract. Then the NFA should turn around and release the rice into the open market. This will boost supply and ease prices,” Ty said. An agency-to-agency agreement would be an acceptable Read More …