By Mark Garcia
Bacolod City– National Food Authority-Negros Occidental reported that it has already distributed to various NFA retail stores and local government units about 8,000 bags of imported rice this month, part of the 80,000 bags allocated by the central office to the province.
Provincial manager Frisco Canoy said that, so far, they have distributed 8,383 imported NFA bags from Thailand, since the allocation for Western Visayas has arrived only this month.
These include 5,000 bags from the NFA regional office in Iloilo and the 3,383 bags unloaded from the MV Unison docked at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. Port in Bacolod City that carried about 200,000 bags of imported rice for Negros and Region 8.
He said that the 5,000 bags from Iloilo will be returned after the 80,000 bags from MV Unison are fully unloaded.
On July 10, MV Unison arrived at the Bredco port, but only about 3,383 bags were unloaded while 76,617 are still in the vessel due to bad weather conditions, he said.
After the allocation for the province has been unloaded, MV Unison will proceed to Tagbilaran City in Bohol, Canoy added.
While the imported NFA rice for Negros is yet to be fully distributed, Canoy said NFA has observed an increase in the prices of commercial rice.
Canoy said the average price of well-milled rice ranges from P44 to P46 per kilo, while regular-milled ranges from P40 to P43 per kilo.
NFA rice will be sold at P27 per kilo at retailer’s price and P32 per kilo to interested local government units or institutions for buffer stocks.
The increase was due to limited supply of rice as the cropping season has just started. Canoy said that with the entry of new NFA rice in the market, commercial rice prices are expected to decrease.
“The projections of rate of increase or decrease of commercial rice prices are yet to be determined, but with this additional supply for the province, it is expected that prices will go down”, Canoy said, although the rice production is still lower than the consumption in the province.
The supply of commercial rice available in the market currently is expected to last up to 58 days, he added.*