By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it has enough rice stocks ready for delivery and disbursement to strategic areas in Metro Manila.
In a report to Agriculture Secretary William Dar last Friday, National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Judy Carol Dansal said the NFA has enough rice at-hand to meet the two-week requirement of the National Capital Region.
There is also additional rice supply readily available depending on the demand.
The NFA currently has 400,000 bags (50 kilograms per bag) or 20,000 metric tons (MT) of rice in its warehouses around Metro Manila.
Based on NFA data, Metro Manila consumes an average of 110,000 bags (50 kilograms) of rice daily, with NFA’s market participation estimated at 7 percent, while the private sector (local and imported) and household inventories have the remaining 93 percent of the inventory.
Dansal said they expect NFA’s market share to increase by 20 percent once local government units (LGUs) start buying their rice requirement from government-owned warehouses due to the enhanced community quarantine imposed in Metro Manila.
“We are prioritizing local government units for the sale of NFA rice,” Dansal said.
She noted that they are now working on the payment scheme for interested LGUs.
The LGUs can coordinate with any NFA warehouse servicing their respective jurisdictions.
“For CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela), they can go to North District Office, while Quezon City and Manila can buy from our Central District Office. Meanwhile, those from Marikina and Rizal can coordinate with the East District Office and South District Office for Taguig, Pasay, Makati, Paranaque, and Pateros,” she said.
Dansal added that they have also prepositioned 15,000 bags of rice to augment requirement of Cavite province.
Dar reassured the public that there is enough supply of food for residents in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.
Luzon currently has an inventory of 166,945 MT of vegetable and root crops, enough to cover the weekly demand of 27, 686 MT.
The projected production of 433, 495 MT is expected to augment supply after the 30-day quarantine period.
For poultry and meat, available supply was 269,259 MT and additional 75,391 MT projected production to cover the demand of 26,980 MT per week.
The weekly fish requirement in Luzon is 35,491 MT while the supply is 52,088 MT, while 445,215 MT additional production expected until June.
Meanwhile, weekly demand for eggs in Luzon around is 95.4 million pieces while supply is around 125.8 million. The weekly requirement for sugar is 21,391 kilograms, while the supply is 136,920.