Evasco: Gov’t has less than a day’s worth of rice buffer stock
National Food Authority Council (NFA) Chairman and Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio “Jun” Evasco said the government has less than a day’s worth of rice buffer stock, far from the 15-day buffer stock required at any given time.
“It’s .35,” Evasco said in a Palace briefing on Wednesday.
He said the rice reserve is equivalent to 200,000 sacks.
Evasco’s comment was sought after the Inquirer reported that the rice reserve of the NFA is now completely gone.
Despite the depleted rice stock, Evasco said there is no need to panic as the government is expecting the arrival of 250,000 metric tons of imported rice before June.
“From the reports of the DA Secretary during that meeting of March 19, there is nothing to fear because there is rice. Because according to the DA Secretary, it’s only now that they have a big harvest from the Filipino farmers – that’s why there was no panic on our end,” he said.
President, Rodrigo Duterte, he said, would meet with rice traders in Malacanang on Thursday.
“The President will be meeting with big rice-traders tomorrow afternoon, because the President will have a take on that,” he said.
Evasco slammed the NFA for the creating an “artificial shortage” of rice.
The Palace official said the abolition of the NFA is now being considered.
“NFA could only be abolished first, if we have enough rice produced in our country to feed our people,” he said. /muf
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.