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PIA Press Release

NFA La Union assures ample rice supply

By Renee F. De Guzman

San Fernando City, La Union (6 September) -- The National Food Authority (NFA), La Union Provincial Office dismissed as speculation the earlier reports on possible local rice shortage due to the extended dry spell the province experienced recently, as it assures consumers of sufficient supply of the staple food item until the end of the year.

The NFA has in its warehouse 47,726 bags of rice as of today, a comfortable 10-day inventory. Tomorrow, a shipment from Vietnam is arriving at Poro Pt., and other shipments are already inbound said, Zenaida Cariaso, NFA-LU Economist III.

To prevent hoarding, price speculation and other illegal schemes by the rice dealers, Renato Y. Sanedrin, NFA-LU Manager reactivated the "Palengke Watch". Based on the scheme NFA watchers are dispatched daily to monitor/ inspect activities of all accredited NFA outlets provincewide. The NFA watchers are also tasked to report any unusual supply trends and fluctuation of rice prices on daily basis.

NFA outlets found violating NFA rules and regulations are either suspended or their accreditation is cancelled.

As a result of the strengthening of their "Palengke Watch" scheme, seven (7) NFA outlets; two (2) from San Fernando City, four (4) from Bauang, and one (1) from Aringay were suspended last month for various offenses.

NFA rice is supposed to reduce cost of the commodity among consumers. However, due to the long dry spell in Region I especially in nearby Region II, the prices of commercial rice rose to as much as P2.00 per kilo as many rice mills in these areas have stopped milling for months now.

There is no rice hoarding in the province. It is a problem of supply and demand which the NFA and the Department of Agriculture are jointly addressing. Measures are being carried out to further boost the province rice production and to prevent unscrupulous individuals from unduly jacking up prices of rice.

NFA-La Union has requested a supplemental allocation to ensure further the province's sufficient food security for the first quarter of 2008 even as harvest will be up in the last quarter of the year. (PIA La Union) [top]

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