PIA Press Release
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Commercial traders fail to stock rice in Batanesby Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
QUEZON CITY, Jan. 5 (PIA) -- Rough seas in the Balintang Channel in Batanes prevented commercial traders from stocking enough rice supply in Batanes. To effectively augment the food security inventory in Batanes, the National Food Authority (NFA) shipped a total of 2,000 bags of rice to the province.
The NFA said an emergency rice shipment was made in the wake of the reported dwindling of commercial rice stocks in the province caused by the difficulty in transporting rice through the normal shipping route that crossed the Balintang Channel. Rough seas discourage commercial traders to continue shipping rice.
The NFA, through the Department of Agriculture, coordinated with the Department of National Defense to airlift some 200 bags of rice to the province using the C-130 of the Philippine Air Force; no ship could cross the channel.
The main shipment arrived on January 1 when the MV SAVERS, the ship that NFA hired, finally was able to cross the Balintang Channel.
The NFA emphasized it will continue to perform its mandate to provide emergency supply source in areas anywhere in the country wanting in supply of the staple.
In the case of Batanes, the agency will remain committed to supply additional buffer stocks as long as there is a problem in the supply of commercial rice in the area. (DA/RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)