NFA distributes another 400,000 bags of rice to Ilocos and Cordillera provinces
By Freddie G. Lazaro
Vigan City (5 August) -- The National Food Authority (NFA) in Region 1 will distribute another four hundred thousands (400,000) bags of rice this August to its various market outlets in four Ilocos and two Cordillera provinces, it was learned Monday here.
This is to keep the momentum of the agency in supplying adequate cheap government rice supply to the consumers in the region
As of July 25, 2008, reports reaching to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Ilocos region showed that NFA Region 1 had already sold a total of three hundred one thousands and four hundred forty four (301, 444) bags of rice to some 1, 173 rice outlets retailers to consumers at P18.25 per kilo and at P25 per kilo.
NFA Regional Director Joseph Y. dela Cruz said that the number of sold bags of rice was their 75.36% accomplishment over its target of 400,000 bags for the month of July.
The NFA Regional Office based in San Fernando City, La Union will supply rice to the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Abra and Mt. Province.
"The NFA, as it intensifies its rice injection in the markets, is successful in pulling down commercial rice prices from P36 per kilo to a low of P32 per kilo in the region and Cordillera today, even as it was predicted that commercial rice prices will soar during lean months from July to September," he said.
He disclosed that while NFA flooded the markets with cheap government rice, rice queuing of consumers in markets is no longer visible today, and commercial rice is abundant in all markets negating speculations that there will be rice shortage and soaring of rice prices these lean months.
"Consumers saw radical price reductions in prices of commercial rice as NFA started to saturate all markets with sufficient supply of rice to all its outlets where several months ago, consumers were queuing in NFA outlets when tight rice supply was felt and quantity sold was limited to 3 kilos per costumer," he said.
"Today, the NFA outlets are selling 5 kilos per costumer and allocation of NFA rice to it's outlets have been doubled and tripled causing escalating price to have abated," he added.
Dir. Dela Cruz clarified that the P18.25 per kilo NFA rice with 25% broken rice had been pulled out from all markets beginning July 1, 2008.
"Our people and poor families in the depressed areas in the region can access this cheap and subsidized price of rice thru its twenty (20) rolling stores, five hundred ninety –seven (597) Tindahan Natin Outlets (TNO's), thirty –two (32) Tindahan sa Parokya outlets, all classified by NFA as Community –based market outlets (CBO's)," he said.
According to Dela Cruz, the government has focused on poor families and poor areas as target beneficiaries and target areas of its subsidized price of rice of P18.25 per kilo at this time that food crisis and fuel crisis continue unabated.
"The P25 per kilo and the P35 per kilo NFA commercial grade and premium rice is what is available and accessible in all public markets through its 318 Institutionalized Bigasan Sa Palengke (IBSP) outlets or populary called "Market Based Outlets" (MBO). The rich or middle class sector of society can avail of this rice but not the P18.25 a kilo, which is only intended for the poor," he stressed.
He also revealed that the rice request of employees from government agencies has also been granted. The commercial grade rice at P25 per kilo or P1, 250 per bag is issued to government employees.
According to Dela Cruz, the selling activity of the IBSP outlets is closely supervised by NFA to avoid rice diversion, overpricing and selling the NFA rice as commercial rice. He urges the consuming publice to report thrus its hotline numbers those outlets that are not complying with NFA regulations. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]