A total of 510,757 bags of rice have been released to various agencies for relief operations for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda, the National Food Authority (NFA) said on Wednesday.
In a statement, the NFA said that as November 25, some 360,508 bags of rice were released to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); 5,464 bags to Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC); 114,639 bags to Local Government Units; and 29,964 bags were allotted for other purposes.
The grains agency has set up temporary regional office in Catbalogan, Western Samar to continue servicing the food agency’s clients in the region after its regional office in Tacloban City was heavily damaged by Yolanda.
Based on the estimates of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the damage caused by the typhoon to the country’s agriculture sector reached P10.59 billion, affecting over 154,954 hectares of agricultural lands.
NFA Administrator Orlan Calayag earlier instructed neighboring Regions 4,
5, 6 and 7 to augment rice stocks in Region 8 while calling on the regional office to secure remaining stocks in its warehouses for immediate release to calamity victims especially in the worst-hit Tacloban.
Calayag also said that rice supply in the region has already normalized, saying that government inventory in its warehouses is now at a “comfortable level.”
On Tuesday, the NFA conducted a tender for the supply of 500,000 metric tons of rice, supposedly for buffer stock.
To recall, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said that abnormal consumption has pulled down buffer stocks below the 15-day security requirement.
But Calayag said that they have already replenished their stocks, which continues to increase as the grains agency beef up procurement from local farmers.