MANILA, Philippines – Upon making rounds in some markets in Quezon City, the UNTV News Team has found out that supply of NFA rice has been running low among National Food Authority (NFA) rice retailers.
Such is true in Muñoz market, where there has been no supply of NFA rice for two weeks now.
In Balintawak market, only a few rice retailers have NFA rice in stock.
According to retailer Rina David, in one month’s time, the whole stock will be consumed already.
“Iyan lang ang hinahanap ng mga tao kasi kapag mahal ang mga commercial [rice], NFA [rice] ang hinahanap nila (People prefer the NFA rice because it is cheaper than commercial rice),” rice retailer Rina David said.
But according to the NFA, the public should not be alarmed in spite of the suspension of supplying NFA rice to Metro Manila retailers.
NFA spokesperson, Rebecca Olarte said the agency is prioritizing to supply calamity-hit areas more than that in the markets.
Olarte, however, clarified that there is no rice shortage in the country.
“Ang pagkawalang NFA rice sa palengke hindi naman indicator ito na hindi na sumasapat ang ani natin dito sa ating bansa (The absence of NFA rice in markets is not an indicator that there is an insufficient yield in the country), ” she said.
“Kung sa kabuoan ngang supply, ang commercial at saka yung nasa bahay-bahay, sobra-sobra pa naman (If you add up the stock in commercial establishments and private homes, the total supply is more than enough). Hindi naman tayo mauubusan, hindi naman tayo mawawalan (We will not run out of supply). Walang reason para mag-panic (There’s no reason to panic),” Olarte added.
Some NFA rice consumers, like Merilou Ordinario, are left with no choice but to buy commercial rice, which is P12 more expensive than the P27 per kilo of NFA rice.
“Eh mapipilitan, wala naming mabibili na eh ayaw nilang pagbilhan yung tao, anong magagawa nung tao (If they won’t sell to us, what can we do)?” said consumer, Merilou Ordinario
Olarte assured that the NFA has been taking measures to have NFA rice available in the market at the soonest possible time, although she admits, it is not that easy. – Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue