Mayor Sara orders monitoring of commercial rice prices

Published April 9, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By (PNA)

Davao City – The city government here will be monitoring prices of commercial rice in the market amid reports that rice buffer stock being maintained by the National Food Authority (NFA) has already been depleted.

This, after Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio issued an order that will step up the monitoring of the prices of non-NFA rice in the local markets after she received information from NFA Region 11 that the agency’s buffer stock for the entire Davao Region is already at “zero volume” and will not likely be replenished until June.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio

Duterte said the city government, through its City Agriculturist Office, is working closely with NFA and the Department of Agriculture (DA) so that the region would be included in areas appropriately supplied with NFA rice.

“While waiting, we are closely monitoring non-NFA rice to ensure supply and that rice retail prices are right and within what’s mandated by law,” Duterte said in a press statement.

Duterte said NFA and the NFA Council are the offices that are tasked to study the country’s rice situation and will have to come up with appropriate actions to address supply and availability of rice for the Filipinos.

The NFA Council, which is chaired by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, is a policy-making body composed of representatives from government agencies, financial institutions, representatives from private sector and the farmers. It was created under Presidential Decree No. 1770 to ensure food security and stabilize supply and prices of cereals.

In the past two weeks, NFA rice retailers have voiced concerns over the depleting supply of NFA rice in the markets.

On Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement that the President expressed his intent to place the NFA under the Office of the President.

He said the President is also considering the approval of rice importation to be centralized under the Office of DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, “subject to the review of the Office of the Executive Secretary.”