Home » Maritime » NFA bids out rice transport contract

THE National Food Authority (NFA) through the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is inviting Philippine-flag vessel operators to bid for the transportation of 50,000 bags of rice from Manila to General Santos and Davao for a contract price of P9 million.

The operators should have the capability to position the cargo vessels to land at designated ports within 10 calendar days from receipt of the notice to proceed.

The bids must be accompanied by bid security in the amount at least equal to and not lower than a percentage of approved budget.

Foreign carriers carry 85% of the trade from government agencies and their Philippine counterparts, 5%. Air shipments account for the rest.

Marina has been pushing government agencies to use Philippine-flag vessels for the carriage of their import shipments.

The Filipino Shipowners Association is not too hot about carrying government trade either, complaining of inequity when it comes to payment of taxes. Their members pay a 6% withholding tax and 2% contractors’ tax not levied on foreign-flag vessels.

FSA said government should scrap the taxes to level the playing field.

FSA has been calling on government to support its long-standing bid to take part in the carriage of state-owned imports such as rice and coal. This, they said, would help grow their fleet.

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