By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The sixth batch of around 29,000 bags of rice were expected to be delivered to the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses in Metro Manila on Wednesday, May 6.
This is to sustain the requirements of local government units (LGUs) and relief agencies providing food packs for affected families during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“This is already the sixth wave of our NFA rice caravan to NCR since the implementation of ECQ in Luzon on March 16,” NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal said.
“The NCR has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases and the biggest number of affected families since the start of the ECQ, that’s why NFA has to ensure that there will always be sufficient government rice buffer stock in the area,” she pointed out
The first NFA rice caravan was rolled out on March 26, composed of 30 trucks loaded with 30,000 bags of rice.
This was followed on April 7 with 17 trucks carrying 17,000 bags; April 13 to 14 trucks with 14,000 bags; April 23 to 32 trucks with 32,000 bags; and April 29 to 26 trucks with 26,000 bags.
The rice stocks came from Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon providing the biggest volume of rice transfer.
“With the weekly transfer of supplies from rice-producing regions to NCR (National Capital Region), we are able to continuously replenish our NFA rice stocks, to sustain the requirements of local government units (LGUs) and relief agencies providing food packs for affected families during the ECQ period,” Dansal said.
The rice-loaded trucks will converge at the NFA Malolos City Office compound where they will be met by Dansal and NFA field officials before proceeding to various NFA warehouses in NCR for unloading and immediate turnaround.
Due to the increased demand for NFA rice for relief operations, Dansal has ordered full-blast milling of the NFA’s palay stocks and continuous transfer of additional rice stocks not only to NCR but also other rice-deficit regions under lockdown.