MANILA – A Palace official on Sunday said the National Food Authority (NFA) is doing its best to assure enough supply of rice in the market and to prevent hoarding and overpricing.
”According to NFA, we are advising the public that they will implement the full force of the law on those who divert, hoard, and overprice government or NFA rice,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma said in a statement.
Coloma said the NFA has 2.4 million tons of rice supply, enough for the next 72 days or until first week of September.
”We are expecting the harvest season to begin first week of September,” he said.
The NFA reported to Malacanang that before the end of June, 193,000 of the 800,000 metric tons of imported rice will be delivered to the rice agency.
”There will be additional 274,250 metric ton delivery and a balance of 332,250 metric tons in August,” Coloma said.
Coloma said the concerned government agencies have agreed in the recent National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) to implement action programs beginning last week.
”This programs include increased allocation from 12,500 bags per day to P25,000 or double. Secondly, increased outlet from 1,018 to 1,120, additional security and lastly, no price increase,” Coloma said.
The price of NFA regular milled rice is P27 and well-milled rice will remain at P32 while prices of commercial rice ranged from 40 to 60 per kilogram.
”The government is not ignoring the situation. We are monitoring this to make sure nobody will take advantage of the situation,” Coloma said.
The PCOO chief said the NPCC formed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is also monitoring the supply and prices of sugar which hit P52 per kilo.
”The sugar price increase was due to high demand. But because of our monitoring, the suggested retail price is now P50 per kilo,” Coloma said.
With regard to the prices of pork, Coloma said the hog raisers claimed the price increase was due to the so-called Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) which plagued the piglets.
”This is contributory factor for tight supply,” Coloma said.
On the high prices of garlic, Coloma said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is continuously monitoring the situation.
”The DA has deployed rolling stores in Muntinlupa, Pasig, Marikina and Quezon City selling local garlic with the price ranging from P100 to P200 per kilo,” he said.
With regards to other agricultural products, Coloma said the prices remain stable.