By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Even in a liberalized regime where the National Food Authority’s (NFA) role was supposedly reduced to buffer stocking for calamities and emergencies, the state-run agency said it still continues to sell rice at ₱27 per kilogram (/kg).
In a statement, NFA said that from January to November 20, it has already distributed 13.17 million bags of rice, at a daily average of 32,733 bags, through 20,196 sales outlets nationwide selling NFA rice at ₱27/kg.
NFA Administrator Atty. Judy Carol Dansal said that NFA continues to conduct regular rice distribution schemes even as it prepares for the implementation of the rice subsidy program for 4Ps beneficiaries.
“As we buy palay from local farmers, we continue with our duty of making affordable, good quality rice available to our consumers,” Dansal said.
Aside from selling rice through existing outlets, the NFA is conducting mobile sales to various markets whether accredited or not. It has also set up stationary outlets in NFA compounds to cater to more consumers.
Meanwhile, sale to government institutions like Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other agencies, continues.
Implemented in March, The Rice Tariffication Law or Republic Act (RA) 11203 removed NFA’s rice importation function and repealed its regulatory powers over the grains industry so that the agency could focus on buffer stocking for calamities and emergencies.
As part of this, NFA is now aggressively buying palay from local farmers, with total procurement reaching 11.52 million bags as of November 20 or 80 percent of the actual target of 14.46 million bags for 2019.
The palay were mostly bought from Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Cagayan Valley regions.
“We try to accommodate all farmers who sell their harvest. We have 642 buying stations which are strategically located across the country to accept their produce,” Dansal said.