By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY—The National Food Authority-Central Visayas (NFA 7) admitted that despite the recent importation, the prices of commercial rice in Region 7 remain high.
Olma Bayno, information officer of NFA 7, said that based on their monitoring, the price of commercial rice increased between P1 and P2.
“I don’t have the complete data yet but that’s what we have monitored. In our meeting, it was discussed that the recent importation did not affect the prices of commercial rice,” Bayno said.
Last June, 500,000 bags of rice from Thailand arrived in Central Visayas.
Because of bad weather, the unloading of the bags of rice was delayed and it took weeks before they were brought to NFA warehouses.
“The delay could be one of the reasons why the prices of commercial rice have yet to stabilize. Because when we import rice, we set a date as to when they should be injected into the market. Everything didn’t turn out as planned,” said Bayno.
Bayno said the NFA 7 could not determine yet when the prices would stabilize but they are hoping that the upcoming harvest season could help.
“We could get additional supply of rice from our local farmers,” said Bayno.
Also, to help cushion the soaring price of commercial rice, the NFA 7 has already requested an additional 500,000 metric tons of rice from the national office.
“We are hoping that our request for importation will be approved and they will arrive on time. If approved, the supply will be enough until December this year,” Bayno added.
Bayno said the distribution of NFA rice has been continuing.
“We have already accredited close to 2,000 retailers across the region. We are making sure that there are rolling stores in remote areas for them to avail of NFA rice which is cheaper compared to commercial rice,” said Bayno.
NFA rice with 15 percent broken grains is sold at P32 per kilo. Price for the NFA rice with 25 percent broken grains is pegged at P27 per kilo.