The National Food Authority (NFA) has sufficient rice inventory in the National Capital Region (NCR), even in case of an emergency situation or possible lockdown due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
This was the assurance from NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal in view of the government’s total efforts and preparations on the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We have 455,000 bags of rice in Metro Manila. This is good for 40 days, at 10 percent market participation. Of course, there are still rice stocks in the households and the commercial sector, which comprise the great portion of rice stocks in the market,” Dansal said in a statement Wednesday.
The continuing transfer of 2,224,120 bags or 111,206 metric tons (MT) of rice to NCR from the nearby rice-producing regions is also being fast-tracked. This is to ensure the rice sufficiency level of NCR at all times.
NCR will receive 311,920 bags (15,596 MT) from Region 1; 1,000,000 bags (50,000 MT) from Region 2; and 912,200 bags (45,610 MT) from Region 3.
The total government rice stock is 9.636 million bags or 481,800 MT. This is equivalent to a 14.5-day rice consumption requirement of the whole country at 661,930 bags. They are stored in different strategically located warehouses in all provinces.
Meanwhile, Dansal further said that for 2020, the NFA has bought 1,734,230 bags (86,711 MT) of palay from farmers and farmers’ coops and associations. This is a 124-percent accomplishment of the 1,399,000 bags target for January and February.
For the whole of 2020, the NFA aims to locally buy 15,440,000 bags of palay.
Republic Act 11203 mandates the NFA to maintain a sufficient level of rice buffer stocks to be sourced locally, intended primarily for emergency/calamity operations.
NFA continues to sell rice through disaster/relief/calamity operations response outlets, private authorized distributors, and other government agencies. (PNA)