By Nestor Abrematea
TACLOBAN CITY – For the past two weeks, retailers have been complaining of the lack of supply of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) in various public markets in this city and in some places in Eastern Visayas.
The NFA retailers said they have no more stocks to sell to the public. The rice shortage was confirmed by the NFA in Eastern Visayas as stocks in their various warehouses or “bodegas” in Leyte and Samar remain depleted.
Frederick Dy, regional president of the Grains Retailers Confederation (GRECON) in Eastern Visayas, however, assured the public that they have nothing to worry as there are enough commercial rice available for sale.
The supply of commercial rice in Eastern Visayas comes from Iloilo and Luzon, Dy said, and its price has increased by P2 per kilo because of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Patricia Aguipo, GRECON vice president in Ormoc City, also confirmed that they have stopped selling NFA rice since last week as the NFA Ormoc City bodega in Bgy. San Pablo has run out of stock.
With stocks of the NFA rice–which sells at P27 per kilo–missing from the market, the public have to contend with locally milled rice that sells for P38 per kilo, Aguipo said.
The people of Ormoc laments the absence of NFA rice which they usually get at the markets. “What could we do? We just have to explain to them that we have no more stocks,” Aguipo said.