TACLOBAN CITY- The National Food Authority (NFA) in the region reported that it has only close to 13,000 bags of stock which could barely last a day.
Raymund Taffala, NFA assistant regional manager, however, was quick to say that while their supply has been depleted, there is still nothing to worry about.
“Our market contribution is just two percent compare to the commercial or household share. Rice supply of the region remains stable. There is nothing to worry about,” Tafalla said in a phone interview.
“The downside of it is that those who could not really afford or those who are really financially hard up have no NFA rice to buy,” he added.
An NFA rice per kilo ranges from P27 to P32 which are lower compare to commercial rice which are priced up to P52 per kilogram, depending on the quality.
Eastern Visayas has a daily rice consumption of 31,000 bags.
Tafalla said that their current stock of 12,955 sacks could not be distributed to their identified retailers in the region because these have been allocated to other government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Also part of the remaining stock are already to be distributed to Leyte (6,742 bags) and Northern Samar (4,191 bags), the NFA official said.
“We have actually stopped the distribution to our identified retailers since last month,” Tafalla said.
There are 4,960 NFA retailers across the region. (JOEY A. GABIETA)