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Price on commercial rice moves as NFA admits shortage of supplies

TACLOBAN CITY- The regional office of the National Food Authority (NFA) in the region reported that its stock of rice is now only good for two days.
However, Raymund Tafalla, assistant regional manager of NFA-8, said that there is nothing to be worried about on their low supply saying that there is more than enough of commercial rice in the market for consumers to buy.
He said that NFA-milled rice only consists about 2 percent of the regional household consumption.
“Our role is just to ensure that there is a stability of rice supply. Right now, while we have a supply of rice of just 64,000 bags which is just enough for two days assuming that all rice supplies will be procured from NFA, there are more than enough of commercial rice available in the market,” Tafalla said.
He also added that due to the series of flooding and bad weather that hit the region, their focus now is to ensure that there are available NFA rice that they could distribute to the affected areas once needed.
Just last month, about 14,000 bags of NFA rice were distributed to different areas in the region hit by the massive flooding spawned by tropical storm ‘Agaton.’
According to Tafalla, as of last month, Eastern Visayas has more than 967,000 bags household consumption of rice of which there were more than 1.73 million bags of commercial rice available.
But still, due to their low supply, NFA-accredited retailers are now only allowed to procure 2 to 5 bags from the previous 20 to 30 bags.
“We have also asked our rice retailers not to increase their prices as we still have enough supply of commercial rice. There is nothing to worry about,” Tafalla said.
At present, a kilogram of NFA rice is at P27.00.
Evangeline Herrera, 58 and a rice retailer at the Tacloban city public market confirmed of lack of NFA-supplied rice.
“We have not procured NFA rice since last week due to low of supply. What we have now are more of commercial rice,” she said.
She, however, admitted that because of the natural calamities like flooding and typhoons that hit the region recently, prices of rice per bag has gone up.
Thus, she said, she was compelled to increase her prices to earn.
She said that she increased by P5 of the rice she sells.
“Some of our customers complained about the increased price but we cannot do anything because we bought our supplies at a higher price,” Herrera said.
She said that the previous P1,950 per bag, she now gets her supplies from her suppliers at P2,050 per bags.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)

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