NFA assures Koronadal residents there’s enough rice

Pangalian Busran, NFA-South Cotabato manager, said their two warehouses here are currently in full capacity and they have enough supplies to meet the current rice requirements of the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

“Right now, we have 115,000 bags of imported rice available in our two warehouses here and the delivery of our rice allocations from the central office is ongoing,” he said in an interview over radio station Bombo Radyo here this morning.

Busran said the NFA central office recently shipped additional rice stocks for the province and the neighboring areas through the Makar wharf in General Santos City, which is the agency’s unloading port in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao.

For this year, he said the NFA central office has allocated at least 201,000 bags of imported rice from Vietnam and Thailand for the province.

As of this morning, Busran said some 150,000 bags have already been delivered to their two warehouses here.

“The central office assured us that they will ship additional rice supplies if our current allocation will not last until the end of the year,” he said.

Commercial rice prices in the province continued to rise during past several weeks, triggering long queues at NFA accredited outlets here.

In this city, the prices of commercial rice now range between P38 and P45. The NFA rice is currently sold in the markets at P18.25 a kilo.

Meantime, to augment the agency’s rice stocks for this year, Busran said they will launch an aggressive palay procurement program when the harvest season begins in August.

He said they have set aside at least P10 million for the palay procurement program until the harvest season ends in November.

“The palay stocks that will be purchased from August to November will be set aside for our food security allocation and supply the area’s rice requirements for the first quarter of 2009,” he added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)