TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- The National Food Authority (NFA) here assured the public that there is no rice shortage in the province.
Emmanuel Villanueva, provincial manager, said NFA stocks are low at this time but other sectors specifically the Household and Commercial sectors have abundant supply that can last up to 80 days based on the 6,400 bags Daily Consumption Requirement of the province.
“Based on our monitoring, there have been price increases in commercial rice in the market, but, unlike in Metro Manila, the escalations here are minimal and reasonable which ranges from P.50/kg to P1.00/kg,” he said.
He said there are other factors to consider on this occurrence and one of which is the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law that has resulted to an increase in prices of other commodities like gas and energy charges which are mainly used for milling operations of ‘palay’ by private millers.
“We have temporarily stopped rice distribution to Accredited Individual Retailers – Outside the Market (AIR-OTM) and implemented calibrated sales to Institutionalized Bigasan sa Palengke (IBSP) and Accredited Individual Retailers – Inside the Market (AIR-ITM) to stretch our existing inventory while waiting for the arrival of imported rice,” he added.
At this time, Villanueva said their office doesn’t have enough rice stocks to flood the market with NFA rice.
He said the existing stocks are reserved for the Local Government Units (LGUs), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and other government agencies for their rice requirements especially for relief operations during disasters.
“The allocations for Cagayan are expected to arrive in April 2018 or earlier,” he said.
Villanueva assured that like in the previous years, the lean months will also pass as the onset of harvest in the province is approaching and will surely boost the inventory of the province. Reports from Mark Cadiente Tumabao and Angelle Simeon, PIA