Piñol: No rice shortage; PH has ‘record’ stocks
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol belied reports of a rice shortage in the country as he disclosed that the Philippines was facing a “record” 3-million-metric-ton surplus of the staple in the first quarter of 2018.
“Sobra-sobra ang ating bigas ngayon (We currently have an oversupply of rice),” Piñol said over radio dzMM.
According to him, the country ended 2017 with a surplus of 2.7-million-metric-ton surplus of locally produced rice.
In the first quarter of 2018, Piñol said the Department of Agriculture expected a harvest of about 3.1 million metric tons of the staple, which will bring local stocks to about 5.8-million metric tons.
“Kakainin ng Pilipino yung 2.8 million metric tons sa first 90 days. So, after the first quarter, mayroon pa tayong maiiwan na 3 milyong tonelada ng bigas (Filipinos will eat 2.8 million metric tons in the first 90 days. So, after the first quarter, we will still have 3 million metric tons of rice),” the agriculture secretary said.
“This is the highest in the country in recent years,” he added.
Piñol made the disclosure amid reports that the country was experiencing a rice shortage after the National Food Authority (NFA) announced that it was running low on stocks.
“Na-mis-interpret lang yung statement ng NFA na merong shortage,” he said.
“Hindi mali ang balita ng NFA na meron silang shortage (The report that the NFA is having a shortage is not wrong),” he said. “But they were referring to their own buffer stock,” not the rice stock of the country, Piñol clarified. /cbb