NFA assures enough rice supply in quake-hit Surigao provinces

MANILA — The National Food Authority (NFA) on Tuesday assured it has enough buffer stocks of rice in warehouses nationwide, particularly in earthquake-hit Surigao provinces.

The NFA released 200 bags of rice requested by the local government unit (LGU) of Surigao del Norte for its relief operations after the 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit the province on Feb. 10.

“It is one of the mandates of NFA to provide rice to a calamity-stricken area within 22 hours from the occurrence of a calamity or emergency,” said NFA Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino.

The NFA has a standing memorandum of agreement (MOA) with various relief agencies wherein LGUs can withdraw rice on credit from NFA anytime during calamities and emergencies.

Aquino said more than 232,000 bags of rice were strategically positioned in its warehouses in Caraga, sufficient to supply the rice consumption requirements of the region for more than two weeks.

NFA also has sufficient rice inventory nationwide at 8.88 million bags as of Feb. 10, 2017.

Based on the reports of the NFA monitoring teams, prevailing market price of commercial rice also remains stable despite the declaration of Surigao City under state of calamity.

The NFA market monitoring teams were immediately deployed to assess the rice supply and price situation in the market.

They also inspected NFA-accredited rice retail outlets to ensure that affordable government rice is readily available and accessible to the consuming public, especially those in affected areas in the region. Leslie Venzon/