THE National Food Authority in Central Visayas (NFA-7) is limiting its distribution of the supply of NFA rice to accredited retailers in the region because the NFA has only a 9-day buffer stock for Central Visayas.
Procopio Trabajo II, NFA-7 regional director, said that Region 7 has around 305,829 bags of NFA rice available in their warehouse which is expected to last for 9 days.
NFA rice is a cheaper alternative for commercial rice.
Trabajo said that Central Visayas has an average consumption rate of 33,019 bags of rice per day.
He said that the move to limit the supply to be distributed to the retailers was done to ensure that there would be available stocks of NFA rice during calamities like typhoons, landslides, floodings and earthquakes.
“During calamities, DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council) are buying rice from us. DepEd (Department of Education) is also purchasing for their feeding programs and BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) for their inmates,” Trabajo said.
However, he said that commercial rice available in the market could still last for 17 days with 565,423 bags while household supply available could last for 38 days with 1,241,092 bags of rice.
Overall, according to NFA-7’s Industry Supply Situation report, Central Visayas has 2,112,344 bags of rice available or rice supply that can last for 64 days.
“We’re just thankful that some areas in Central Visayas are corn eaters which lessen the demand for rice in the market, especially in Bohol and Negros and some parts of Cebu. But nonetheless, our supply of rice is good enough,” Trabajo said.
Despite this, the NFA is requesting for an increase in NFA rice allocation for the entire country that will be imported from Vietnam.
He said that the request pending at the NFA Council would involve from 250,000-300,000 metric tons of imported NFA rice for next year.
He said that the NFA-7 is building a new warehouse for the possible increase of rice allocation in the region.
“We hope that this will be approved. Especially that PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) has forecast that in the first quarter of the month, the country might experience a La Niña phenomenon,” he added.
Since Central Visayas is not a rice sufficient region, he said, then this would mean that we would need to import rice from other regions.