Any decision on a new round of rice importation may not be made until early next year, based on the procurement timetable, said Filipino Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala on October 9.

At the same time, the Secretary predicted a surplus of 2.24 million tonnes of rice by yearend, which can meet the entire country’s needs for over two months, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

According to the agriculture senior official, as the country’s main harvest occurs in the second half of the year, accounting for 60 percent of the year’s output, decisions on whether to import and how much are usually finalised at the start of the succeeding year.-VNA