Low income earners decry scarcity of NFA rice

By: Jessa Mae Sotto February 02,2018 - 10:48 PM

FOR water vendor Nancy Panganiban, 52, a kilo of rice is barely enough to provide a solid meal for her family of eight.

While she stays with her daughter’s family in Brgy. Pasil, Cebu City, she also needs to help in providing for their daily needs.

For rice, she usually buys ten kilos of the National Food Authority (NFA) rice weekly as her contribution.

“Makatabang gyod siya kay barato ra man (It is very helpful to us because it’s affordable),” she said.

NFA rice can be bought at P27 per kilogram for 25-percent broken rice and P32 per kilo for 15-percent broken rice which is much cheaper than commercial rice which costs from P40 to P50 a kilo.

But Panganiban laments that she can now hardly buy NFA rice due to the decision of the NFA to stop distributing it to the 1,991 accredited retailers in the region since Thursday.

She said they have no choice but purchase commercial rice like Lion Ivory which costs P40 to P50 per kilo.

“Naglisod mi kay nagmahal ang bugas ug unsa ragod ang among pangita (It is doubly difficult for us because of our low income),” Panganiban said.
Estefania Achecoso, 59, a sidewalk vendor is facing a similar dilemma.

She said she usually buys at least three kilos of NFA rice for her family of three, but because of its scarcity, she now has to resort to commercial rice but for only two kilos.

NFA-7 Director Procopio Trabajo II said in a separate interview, that they have stopped distributing NFA rice to accredited retailers in Central Visayas due to the scarcity of supply brought about by the lean harvest for the year.

But he assured the public not to worry as there is still 2.6 million bags of NFA rice which is good for 79 days.

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TAGS: decry, earners, income, Low, scarcity

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