Manila, Philippines – The Philippines will import up to 2 million metric tons of rice from Vietnam yearly for five years.

The Presidential Communication Office (PCO) said that Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. and his Vietnamese counterpart signed the five-year trade memorandum of understanding (MOU) during President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.’s trip to Vietnam.

“Under the MOU, Vietnam agreed on a five-year trade commitment to supply, through its private sector, white rice to Philippine private sector, amounting to 1.5 million to 2 million metric tons per year at a competitive and affordable price,” said the PCO in a statement on Tuesday

Laurel announced the prospective agreement in a Palace briefing earlier in January.

The PCO said that the rice trade deal would help ensure food supply in the midst of climate change.

“The MOU on Rice Trade Cooperation creates a framework for rice cooperation between the Philippines and Vietnam to ensure and establish sustainable food supply amidst the impact of climate change, pandemics, and other events external to both countries,” said the PCO.

The Philippines and Vietnam will also exchange information on rice policies, plans and regulations.

An MOU on agricultural cooperation was also signed, stating that Vietnam and the Philippines will have collaborations for high value crops, livestocks, and aquaculture, farm management, and more.