NFA prepositions rice stocks in areas to be hit by ‘Ompong’

MANILA — The National Food Authority (NFA) said Thursday it has prepositioned food security stocks in areas along the track of Typhoon Ompong, which was projected to hit the northern part of the country on Friday.

Earlier, NFA Administrator Jason Aquino, instructed NFA offices in Regions 1, 2, 3 and 5 to secure their rice stocks, in anticipation of heightened rice distribution and relief operations during and after the storm.

Aquino said rice stocks of provinces projected to be hit by the typhoons were bolstered this week. NFA now has at least 1,000,000 bags strategically stored in its different warehouses in Luzon, including NCR, for distribution through accredited retailers and for relief operations during calamities.

“We are thankful that the weather was good in the past days. We were able to unload around 380,000 bags in different ports like Manila, Subic, La Union, Legazpi and Batangas where our unloading activities of imported NFA rice are still ongoing. Our men in the field worked overtime so we were able to have more stocks in our warehouses before the typhoon lands,” Aquino said.

Updates on Typhoon Ompong forecast sustained winds at more than 200 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center. It is projected to pass through Northern Luzon, between Batanes and Cagayan Valley area in early morning of September 15, Saturday. Heavy rains brought by the storm are expected to cause floods and landslides in many areas.

NFA regional and provincial managers have already consulted with local government units, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Philippine Red Cross (PRC), and the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) regarding preparations for relief operations.

“NFA has standing memorandum of agreements with relief agencies like DSWD, OCD, as well as LGUs allowing them to withdraw rice on credit from the food agency for their relief operation anytime during calamities and emergencies,” Aquino said.

According to him, NFA field offices have also activated their operation centers that will be open 24 hours a day in preparation for the incoming typhoon.

NFA offices in areas affected by the typhoon, and those threatened by other upcoming storms will remain operational even during weekends and holidays.  (PR)