NFA: Pile of rice at port not hoard
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The National Food Authority (NFA) in Northern Mindanao belied reports of rice hoarding at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
“If you see piles of rice bags inside the warehouse, that doesn’t automatically mean they’re hoarding,” said Hazel Belacho, the NFA regional office’s information officer.
Floro Calixihan, Bureau of Customs regional collector, said people might have suspected that piles of rice sacks at the port last week were hoarded goods.
He said the pileup was caused by a “slight delay” in X-ray scanning and inspection of the shipment at the customs examination area “because there was only one X-ray scanning unit at the time.”
But the customs facility had already released the 220,000 bags of rice that were seen last week, according to the City Price Coordinating Council headed by Councilor George Goking.
The council inspected the facility on Sept. 21.
Elizabeth delas Llagas, MCT collector, said it did not make sense to hoard rice at the customs facility because of the hefty storage fees that they would have to pay.
Apolinario Buerano, NFA assistant regional director, said there was no reason for traders to hoard rice because prices were already high.
“Why hoard it when now is the opportunity to sell?” he said.
Best time to sell
“This is the best time to sell because the price in the market is high,” he added.
He said harvest season was near and a fresh supply of rice would soon flood the market.
Aside from regular warehouse inspections by the NFA, Belacho said rice dealers also had to submit their inventory of stocks.
The NFA had assured the public that the agency had enough rice in its warehouses.
Samuel Natavio, NFA assistant manager in Misamis Oriental, said the provincial NFA inventory was 187,000 bags of rice imported from Vietnam and Thailand.
Daily rice consumption in Northern Mindanao is 28,920 bags.
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