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PIA Press Release

PGMA orders release of P100-M for cheap rice during holiday season

Manila (19 November) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the release of P100 million to make cheap government rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) available during the holiday season through the Tindahan Natin outlets across the country.

Making cheap rice available is part of the President's commitment to spread out the benefits of the country's improving economy.

The Tindahan Natin is a community-based dedicated outlet for cheap but quality NFA rice and other basic commodities.

A total of 7,769 TNs are currently operational in depressed areas across the country, catering to beneficiaries identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Funding for the P100 million worth of additional NFA rice to be sold through the TNs shall come from the Philippine Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

Last October 16, the President also increased the NFA's support price for clean and dry palay from P10 to P11 per kilogram to provide farmers more economic benefits through higher profit from their produce.

On top of the support price are additional incentives amounting to P0.25 per kg for drying and delivery by individual farmers and another P0.25 per kg as Cooperative Development Incentive Fund (CDIF) for farmers cooperatives.

Meanwhile, to help discourage price manipulation and other illegal rice trading practices, the NFA has adjusted by P0.25 per kilogram the price of government rice to narrow the price gap between NFA rice and the prevailing prices of commercial rice in the market.

"Good quality is among the primary reason why unscrupulous traders are tempted to divert government rice and sell it as higher-priced commercial rice," Rex C. Estoperez, NFA director for public affairs said.

From the previous P825 per cavan, NFA rice is now being sold nationwide at P837.50 per 50 kilogram bag ex-warehouse and will be retailed at P 18.25 per kilogram.

Estoperez said that the P0.25 per kilo increase in government rice is practically negligible while the NFA is still able to fulfill the consumers' demand for easy access to quality rice that is within their budget.

"At P18.25 per kilogram for the well-milled variety, NFA rice remains much lower than even the regular milled commercial rice in the market," Estoperez said.

Latest monitoring showed retail price of regular milled rice (RMR) at an average price of P22.72 per kilogram and P24.87 for well milled variety (WMR) rice.

Premium and fancy rice is being sold at P27.41 and P32.73 per kg, respectively.

Aside from narrowing the price band in the market, Estoperez said that the recent rice price hike will help in partially filling the agency's budgetary requirement to finance last month's increase in the price of palay.

He also noted demand for government rice continues to remain high even with the onset of the main harvest.

"With harvest peaking, there should be downtrend in demand for government rice, as newly harvested rice enters the market," Estoperez added.

Aside from the Tindahan Natin outlets, Estoperez said NFA rice will remain accessible to consumers at the Bigasan ni Gloria sa Palengke (BGP) rice outlets, rolling stores, as well as the agency's accredited and licensed rice retailers.

For more information on NFA's rice pricing, the public may send their inquiries via Text NFA at 0917-6210927. (PNA) [top]

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