NFA Council: No need to panic, rice supply is coming

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 7) — The National Food Authority (NFA) Council is allaying fears of a possible rice shortage in the country, saying supply is coming in.

Speaking to CNN Philippines Wednesday, NFA Council Chair Jun Evasco said 325,000 metric tons of rice are still being delivered to the country until the end of the month.

 

When asked about reports that certain stores have run out of NFA rice supply, Evasco said he would still have to look into it, adding he has set another meeting with the Council "to look into the veracity" behind such claims, however they are studying whether or not there is a need to import rice.

"NFA management is proposing to the council to buy rice, to import rice that is G to G (government to government). But we are still holding on to that, we're still suspending that because the importation of rice done by the private traders as I have said, is ongoing. Matatapos yung 325,000 metric tons at the end of this month. So meaning to say, there is rice," he clarified.

The NFA is also not putting a limit on how much NFA rice can be bought by a person or a family as there is no emergency that warrants such action.

In a press briefing earlier, NFA Administrator Jason Aquino said the inventory of NFA rice was low.

"Very low ang inventory sa NFA pero ang commercial at household mataas pa. Hindi kulang ang bigas, wala lang mabigay ang NFA sa poorest of the poor," Aquino said.

[Translation: The inventory of NFA rice is very low, but we have high supplies in the commercial and household. There is no rice shortage, but we don't have much to give to the poorest of the poor.]

READ: NFA: Low supply of affordable rice, but no rice shortage in PH

He said with the NFA rice shortage, the masses will be forced to buy commercial rice – the price of which has already hiked up due to the lack of supply.

NFA rice is more affordable at P27 to P32 per kilo compared to commercial rice, which sells from P36 to P65 per kilo.

CNN Philippines' digital producer Lara Tan contributed to this report.