By Freddie Velez
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan – Accompanied by National Food Authority (NFA) personnel, the rolling stores of the Tagpuan Day Rice Response Delivery’s project of the NFA Region III Office started delivering rice to indigenous people’s communities, informal settlers, resettlement sites and rehabilitation centers.
Residents of Northville 8 in this city left their houses early to avail of the cheaper rice sold by the NFA.
The residents said that the presence of the NFA rolling stores in their resettlement sites helped a lot because they could save transport expenses and time
Rez Estoperez, NFA spokesperson and Central Luzon director, said that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte instructed NFA Administrator Jayson Aquino that the government’s cheap rice must reach consumers who are not capable of going to marketplaces to buy the staple food.
Estoperez noted that as soon as the cheap imported rice of NFA arrived, the first beneficiaries of the program will be the indigenous people settlement sites in Tarlac, Bataan and Pampanga..
Estoperez said that for the resettlement sites, the Northville 8 in Malolos was the first beneficiary of the program in Central Luzon that was made possible through the cooperation of the grain retailers association (Grecon) in Bulacan headed by Emmanuel Jacinto who explained that under the program, their association was tapped to provide the rolling stores and coordinate with local officials on the date the cheap rice is to be sold.
Estoperez added that if NFA Administrator Aquino sees the program to be viable, it can be duplicated nationwide.
On the other hand, Elvira Obana, NFA-Bulacan manager, said that initially five resettlement sites in the cities of Malolos and San Jose del Monte and the towns of Bocaue, Balagtas and Calumpit have been identified as beneficiaries of the program.
Obana said that the rolling stores making a weekly round in these resettlement sites will be assisted by NFA employees to see to it that the rice is sold directly to the intended beneficiaries..
“The initial allocation will be 50 sacks of rice and these can be adjusted based on the rice stocks of the grain agency in Bulacan,” Obana added.
She said that a maximum of five kilos per consumer is to be sold at P27 per kilo that is graded as 25 percent broken rice. She added that when the rice stocks run out, the NFA will unload its 15 percent broken grain rice stock that will be sold at P32 per kilo.