MANILA—The National Food Authority (NFA) assures the public that there is enough rice in Marawi City, which is currently being gripped by a running gun battle between government troops and the Maute terrorist group.
“We assure all residents of Marawi and the rest of Mindanao that we have enough rice in NFA warehouses in the area. We are ready to issue rice to relief-giving agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) and local government units anytime they would need it to distribute to the affected residents,” NFA administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino said.
As of May 24, the NFA in Marawi City has 38,000 bags of rice in its warehouse. “We have instructed our field personnel to be ready to respond to any need for rice stocks for the victims. Our warehouse in Marawi has been padlocked with reinforced security personnel inside to guard the stocks. We also have enough personnel to release them when needed, and we have coordinated with the local police and military for the safety of our stocks and personnel,” Aquino said.
NFA rice stocks for the whole of Mindanao, which has been placed under Martial Law, currently stands at 1,504,190 bags. The food agency’s offices in other regions, if necessary, is ready to augment the buffer stocks in Mindanao to effectively meet the residents’ rice requirements during the 60-day implementation of Martial Law in the area.
“We shall continue to augment and replenish our rice stocks in Mindanao to ensure that we can meet any need for the staple food during the duration of this man-made calamity,” Aquino said.
Aquino explained that the NFA’s reason for existence is to ensure that there will always be sufficient rice supply for the people whenever emergencies or calamities strike. “In cases like these, whether the calamity or emergency is natural or man-made, the government, through the NFA, should always be ready to provide the most basic need for food for the affected people. It is one of the most important obligations of government,” Aquino added.