Commentary: PGMA's assurance of sufficient rice supply nationwide
Tacloban City (September 9) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's statement that there is a steady supply of rice in the country before she left for the September 8-9 APEC Leaders' Meeting, was meant to assure the families who will be affected because of the dry spell in Luzon.
Ever the leader who listens and caters to the needs of the constituents, the President assured the affected population that her administration has acted to stem the increase in rice prices, and also to alleviate the shortage in the markets of the P18-per kilo rice variety distributed by the National Food Authority (NFA).
The President has ordered the Department of Agriculture and the NFA to immediately source rice from the Visayas and Mindanao and bring these to Metro Manila, and to hasten the delivery of NFA rice to markets where rice prices have been reportedly increasing, and where the supply of NFA rice is dwindling.
President Arroyo further assured, that she will make sure that there is sufficient and affordable rice for the people even if she is at the APEC meeting.
Meanwhile, the National Food Authority Regional Office 8 assured the public that there is more than sufficient supply of rice and that the selling cost of rice in Eastern Visayas will remain stable this year despite the dry spell in Luzon.
Director Ben Marta reported that the price of both the well milled rice and the regular milled rice has slightly gone down during the last week of August.
Well milled rice was sold at P25.08 per kilo on August 22 and it went down to P24.58 on August 30. On the other hand, regular milled rice also decreased during the same period from P22.83 to P22.83 per kilo.
The Region's local source of grain which is Iloilo and Mindoro were spared from damaging dry spell and typhoons earlier this year, Director Marta said.
The steady price is attributed to the sufficient stocks among household of farmers in the Region which has been the major source of food during the off harvest months, the Director added.
August inventory showed that household stocks accounted for 60 percent of available rice in the Region, with 638,920 bags out of the total 1,157,311 bags stored. (PIA 8) [top]