No more cheap rice for poor consumers, says NFA Eastern Visayas exec
TACLOBAN CITY-The National Food Authority in Eastern Visayas (NFA-8) has close to only 12,000 bags of rice which could barely last a day.
But Raymund Taffala, assistant NFA-8 regional manager, assured the buyers that while their supply had been depleted, there was nothing to worry about.
“Our market contribution is just 2 percent compared to the commercial or household share. The supply of the region remains stable. There is nothing to worry about,” Tafalla said in a phone interview.
He, however, admitted that the poor who could not afford to buy the more expensive commercial rice had no NFA rice to buy in the public market.
Eastern Visayas has a daily rice consumption of 31,000 bags. An NFA rice per kilo is sold from P27 to P32, cheaper than commercial rice, which costs at least P52 per kilo, depending on the quality.
Tafalla said their current stock of 12,955 sacks could not be distributed to their retailers in the region since these have been allocated to government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
“We have actually stopped the distribution to our identified retailers since last month,” Tafalla said.
There are 4,960 NFA retailers across the region. Bobby Royales, a sari-sari storeowner in Tacloban City, said the NFA had stopped giving him his weekly supply of three sacks since last month.
“Many of our buyers here prefer to buy NFA rice due to lower price compared to commercial rice,” he said.
Since there was no NFA rice, Royales said his customers were forced to buy commercial rice.
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