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PIA Press Release

NFA explains price increase on rice

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (9 December) -- With the recently approved price increase on NFA rice, National Food Authority (NFA) Davao City Manager Ramon Cangrejo tells the public the need for the agency to increase wholesale price from P23.50 to P25.00.

NFA monitoring team has not yet seen any increase of price in retail outlets, however, it has expected sellers to adjust price in the coming days.

The price increase was approved by the NFA Council last Tuesday (December 7) as a way of ensuring the viability of the agency and fulfilling its mandate of supporting farmers.

Cangrejo explained the need for NFA to increase price as the agency is losing much money on rice importation.

The country buys the imported rice at P32.00 per kilo, the government subsidizes P18.00 per kilo, while the operator buys it at P16.75 per kilo.

In a press release, NFA administrator Angelito T. Banayo also explained the recent decision of the council calling it as a long term move for the viability of the agency.

Banayo explained that the price increase coupled with efficient operations and measures to prevent corruption will allow NFA to stabilize supply for food security of our population.

"If we do not take corrective reform measures, NFA may have to cease operations and there will be no more support for farmers," the Administrator added.

Cangrejo, on his part, sees the need for the Department of Social Welfare and Development to push for the pre-listing of rice beneficiaries so that only those listed can avail of NFA rice.

He admitted that even those families who can afford to buy commercial rice are the ones benefiting from the government rice subsidy.

Another measure seen by the agency manager is the need to boost local production so as not to rely much on importation.

This has added the burden on the part of the country as it spends more on imported rice while making sure that the Filipino poor won't be affected in cases of emergencies such as this price increase. (PIA-XI) [top]

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