NFA La Union beefs up rice deliveries
By Renee F. De Guzman
San Fernando City, La Union (13 September) -- To soften the impact of the high prices of commercial rice on the public the National Food Authority - La Union Provincial Office increases by 30-50 percent rice deliveries to its outlets provincewide.
Earlier, NFA assured the public of sufficient supply of low-priced rice not only in La Union but nationwide as it beefs up its inventory.
The extended dry spell has delayed planting and harvesting by two months especially in the unirrigated areas in most parts of the country including the Ilocos region. This caused the depletion in the supply of commercial rice which in turn triggered the price increase by P2 per kilo last month.
The price increase in commercial rice prompted the NFA to immediately intensify deliveries of NFA rice to its outlets.
With the current inventory of 75,000 bags in its warehouse, NFA-La Union easily increased yesterday its rice deliveries to as much as 50 percent to its 75 outlets and 125 Tindahan Natin provincewide.
Tindahan Natin were established by the Department of Social Services and Development (DSWD) in line with President Arroyo's hunger mitigation program and are located in the barangays.
NFA employee - watchers, monitor and inspect daily all its accredited outlets provincewide to prevent rice dealers from hoarding, price manipulation, rice diversion to unauthorized outlets and other illegal schemes.
To ensure sufficient food security for the next months, the Department of Agriculture has approved the importation of an additional 260,000 metric tons (MTS) of the staple commodity from Thailand and Vietnam.
With the rice importation and the onset of the harvest season, NFA projects a 50-day rice inventory by the end of December.
The Government is putting in place intervention measures to the palay sector to boost production to 19.058 million metric tons (MMT) to attain self-sufficient level by 2010.
These measures which include implementation of the hybrid program, repair and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, construction of more post-harvest facilities to minimize losses and farm-to-market roads will raise farm productivity and ensure steady supply of rice and end the regime of rice importation. (PIA La Union) [top]