NFA director urges public to stop hoarding NFA rice
National Food Authority (NFA) director Rex Estoperez called on the public to stop hoarding NFA rice to give others the chance to buy the cheap rice.
Estoperez said some individuals line up and buy NFA rice to market them in their stores for a higher price than the suggested retail price of P27 to P32 per kilogram.
“Baka lahat sa isang pamilya luminya para sa bigas [tapos] baka naman may mga nagbabayad lang ng mga pipila para maipon (Maybe all members of their family are lining up to buy NFA rice, or maybe they are paying people to line up for them),” he said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990 AM on Monday.
Some areas have already made the move to limit the purchase of NFA rice to five kilograms per person, but still, some people overstock for their own interests.
Since monitoring the sale of NFA rice to consumers is a complicated process because of its many loopholes, Estoperez said all he can do is plead for fairness.
He urged the public to consider consumers who travel a long way to purchase NFA rice. He cited past incidents when the supply ran out before consumers who need them most had the chance to buy.
“Konsensya lang po natin kasi hindi naman araw-araw mayroon tayong mapagkuhanan [ng bigas] lalo na ngayon ano patapos na yung ani at tsaka lean months na (Let’s put this in our conscience. It’s not every day that have a source of cheap rice, especially now that the harvest season is almost over and the lean months are here),” he said.
About 40 to 50 percent of NFA rice has been distributed nationwide, and the NFA is pushing for full-blast distribution by the weekend if the weather allows.
In Metro Manila, 30 percent of the supply has been unloaded and ready for distribution. Meanwhile, parts of Central Luzon such as Pampanga and Bulacan; the Bicol region; and Surigao have partially received the stocks.
Subic was supposedly the first to receive their share of NFA rice, but rains hindered the unloading and distribution.
Estoperez is pushing for better inventory management, equal distribution, and systematic monitoring of NFA rice supply. — Kristine Macasiray
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