30,000 sacks of NFA rice arrive in Bohol
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol-Around 30,000 sacks of rice from a National Food Authority (NFA) depot in Cebu City arrived at the Tagbilaran port on Wednesday afternoon.
NFA-Bohol manager Maria Fe Evasco said the rice shipment was delayed due to port congestion and unavailability of a chartered vessel for shipment in Cebu City.
Bohol had an allocation of 30,000 bags to augment the low rice stock in the province, Evasco said.
But this was not enough since it would be the last allocation until another importation arrives.
“The 30,000 bags, which we received yesterday (Wednesday), is not even enough to sustain the requirements of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) and other relief agencies,” she told the Inquirer on Thursday.
Last Jan. 22, NFA-Bohol stopped supplying rice to accredited retailers due to a limited supply.
NFA-Bohol had only 5,000 sacks of rice, which was reserved for DWSD and other relief agencies affected by emergencies and calamities.
Evasco said they would resume distribution of NFA rice to retailers on Feb. 12 in limited volumes.
“We will resume our distribution of this rice to our accredited rice retailers on Monday but it will be on a limited number of bags considering we cannot dispose the whole volume to our retailers,” she said.
The Institutionalized Bigasan sa Palengke (IBPS) market outlets will receive 10 sacks of NFA rice per week, while the Bigasan sa Barangay Outlet (BBO) will get five sacks per week.
Evasco stressed that “accredited retailers is the last priority in our distribution scheme because first, is DSWD and other relief agencies,” she added.
Rice price hike
Maria Porlaris, 65, a rice vendor at Cogon Public Market in Tagbilaran City, said the prices of commercial rice she was selling increased by P2 a kilo.
She said in the absence of NFA rice, consumers had to buy commercial rice.
The ganador rice, which was P56 per kilo is now P58 per kilo.
The black rice, the most expensive rice, which was P58 per kilo, is now P60 in markets and stores.
Nanny Alas, another vendor said consumers bought “bukid” rice instead which is P39 per kilo which is cheaper than other commercial rice.
NFA rice is cheaper than commercial rice, said Evasco.
A kilo of regular milled rice is P27 and well-milled rice is P32.
No rice shortage in Bohol
The NFA stressed that there was no rice shortage in Bohol, considered the rice bowl of Central Visayas, since there was enough supply of commercial rice.
She said Bohol would expect a bumper harvest because of good weather.
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