By Ellayn De Vera-Ruiz
The seventh batch of 27,000 bags of freshly-milled local rice from Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon has been successfully delivered by the National Food Authority (NFA) to various warehouses in Metro Manila.
NFA dispatched a total of 27 trailer trucks carrying the bags of rice last May 13.
“One hundred percent of our rice deliveries to NCR — and all our issuance for relief operations — are freshly milled. We prioritize sale of these stocks to local government units (LGUs), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), some legislators and other relief agencies for their food pack distribution,” said NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal.
NFA rice, sold at ₱1,250 per 50-kilogram bag, is comparable in quality to commercial rice being sold at ₱1,700 to ₱1,930 per bag. “This means big savings and bigger volumes of supply for distribution to families under quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
Through the weekly rice caravan to NCR, Dansal assured that the NFA is able to maintain a safe level of buffer stock ready for release anytime it is needed by LGUs and relief agencies.
“The rice caravan is done on a weekly basis because we have to accumulate first all the rice deliveries from our contracted private ricemills doing full-blast milling of NFA palay stocks,” she explained.
NFA has in its warehouses a total of 5.703 million bags of rice, good to last for 76 days based on its average daily sales of 75,000 bags.
In a related note, NFA on Thursday welcomed any investigation that may be conducted amid reports that rice stocks distributed to some legislators for relief operations have foul odor.
“We welcome any probe to be conducted by the Department of Agriculture or any government agency to check on the quality of rice stocks in our warehouses. We assure the public that the rice we distribute are fresh from the ricemills which we contracted to mill our palay stocks,” Dansal said.
She pointed out that NFA’s local officials who issue rice stocks to their respective local government units, relief agencies and legislators also assured that all of their rice issuances are freshly milled and good quality local rice.
The NFA implements good warehouse keeping practices and stringent stocks quality management, attuned to international standards on food safety, to protect and preserve the quality of the rice and palay stocks in its warehouses, she added.