Palace: No need to panic regarding PH rice supply
Malacañang on Tuesday denied anew that there was a rice shortage in the country amid reports that the National Food Authority’s (NFA) buffer stock had been totally depleted.
Senior Deputy Exec. Sec. Menardo Guevarra said the public has “no need to panic” even as the NFA insisted that its rice supply in many parts of the country had been depleted. He assured that the overall supply of rice in the market is more than enough.
“We all know na mababa na talaga ang stocks ng NFA, but the overall rice supply is more than sufficient with plenty to spare. No need to panic,” Guevarra said in a text message to reporters.
The Inquirer reported that for the first time since 1972, the agency’s rice reserve had already been wiped out.
NFA records also showed that a nationwide inspection had revealed there was no more NFA rice available in the market.
In a separate interview, Asst. Sec. Jonas Soriano of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary said that the NFA Council had asked Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct an independent audit of the agency’s management and operations to know why the NFA’s buffer stock was depleted even without a recent calamity.
Soriano pointed out that the NFA even sold portions of its rice supply from October to December last year, a harvest period.
“Kung kaya’t isa sa mga resolution is to already pursue the independent audit by COA to look at operations of management not only on October, November, December but henceforth simula pumasok ang presidency ni [President Rodrigo] Duterte and a little before that,” he said. /jpv
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