Grain retailers group president: NFA rice to arrive third week of May

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — Consumers may breathe a sigh of relief soon, as the head of a grains retailers group says NFA rice supply could come by the third week of May.

Speaking to CNN Philippines Tuesday, Grains Retailers Confederation of the Philippines (GRECON) president James Magbanua said based on information he received at a meeting in Malacañang Monday evening, "the arrival of the stocks would be on the third week of May."

"Maybe before the month ends of May andiyan na sa palengke, atsaka makakatulong na 'yan sa pag-balance ng presyo sa market," Magbanua said.

[Translation: Maybe before the month of May ends, it could be in the markets, and it would help in balancing the prices in the market.]

 

This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the National Food Authority (NFA) to increase the country's buffer stock on NFA rice to 60 days.

Magbanua said that with all the threats happening worldwide, should the country run into a problem, there would be enough supply for people.

"Pag ma-satisfy yung buffer, yung pagpasok ng private sector dun sa importation – for as long as they pay their taxes – we do business with normal transparent and hindi inaabuso payagan niya daw yun," he added.

[Translation: If the buffer is satisfied, the entry of the private sector in the importation – for as long as they pay their taxes – we do business with normal, transparent and there is no abuse, the President would allow that.]

Magbanua also disclosed that Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol was now the head of the NFA Council.

"Inaasahan namin na [We hope that] this time they will work hand-in-hand and there will be a harmonious relationship between NFA and the Council," Magbaua said.

He said he was present during during President Rodrigo Duterte's meeting with the NFA Council on Monday evening where – along with the date when NFA rice supply would arrive – it was announced that the NFA, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA) will be the Department of Agriculture's attached agencies.

The decisions were made during President Rodrigo Duterte's meeting with the NFA Council on Monday evening.