Issue of October 7, 2018
Mt. Province

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NFA assures enough supply but urges vs rice ‘hoarding’
by Jane B. Cadalig

The National Food Authority has assured there is enough supply of government rice, but asked unscrupulous consumers to avoid “hoarding” or buying more than their rice requirements and re-selling their extra supplies to other consumers.

NFA Baguio-Benguet Manager Cecilia Concubierta said that while there has been a lag in the distribution of NFA rice to retailers in May and June, stocks have become sufficient by mid-July.

Concubierta said the delivery of NFA rice that time was delayed, which is why the stocks that NFA had in its warehouse were only for calamity purposes.

“Delayed ang arrival ng government rice so we were not able to intervene in the market in May and June. ‘Yung stocks lang natin that time was for calamity. But when the government rice arrived by mid-July, agad tayong nagbenta,” she said.

She added that despite the sufficiency of NFA rice, some consumers still line up at the retail outlets and buy more than their requirements for the day or for the next two days and re-sell the commodity.

May mga pumipila pa rin as early as 5 a.m. May mga nag-iipon at binibenta nila sa mga canteen, restaurants, and to others who are interested to buy from them. This is one of the reasons why mahaba pa rin ang pila sa mga accredited NFA retail outlets,” she said.

She asked consumers to avoid engaging in the unfair practice so that all customers will be given the chance to buy the cheap rice. A kilo of NFA rice is sold at P32 while commercial rice prices range from P43 to P60 per kilo.

“We have also sold at the barangays and we experience the same concern. May mga pabalik-balik. We ask our consumers that once they get their supply, they should give chance to others to also buy their rice supply, anyway, hindi naman tayo nauubusan. Government rice is available at the market at P32 per kilo,” she said.

As of last week, Concubierta said the NFA has 10,500 bags at its warehouse at Loakan and another 16,000 bags will come from La Union, which is the depot that supplies the Cordillera.

She added that NFA Baguio-Benguet is expecting another volume for the region, which is part of the 750,000 metric tons, accrued by the NFA council.

She said that Agriculture Sec. Manny Piñol has announced that NFA has been allowed to import 750,000 MT or 15 million bags of rice.

The government has expressed confidence that prices of commercial rice will go down once the importation of additional 750,000 MT of rice shall have been completed.

Concubierta was among the panelists during a forum held in observance of the Consumer Welfare Month this October in which she and other government agency officials called for consumers to be vigilant against unfair trade practices, and also avoid engaging in unfair and unscrupulous practices.

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