ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte: Licensed and accredited National Food Authority retailers here continue to sell NFA rice in the market despite an alarming low warehouse stock reported a few days ago.
NFA officer-in-charge Sambitory Dimaporo said the NFA warehouse in Barangay Tipanoy has just received an infusion of 5,700 sacks of rice from the Region 10 office in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental.
“But this stock is only good for one-half day if something occurs like a natural disaster that hits Iligan,” according to Dimaporo.
The NFA-Iligan has continued to distribute 10 sacks of rice per day to the 75 active, accredited retailers.
Dimaporo said the NFA has a team of enumerators that check on the prices of NFA rice being sold in the market to ensure that only the prices of NFA are being observed by licensed and accredited retailers.
The NFA-Iligan sells rice at P27 per kilo at the lowest while well-milled rice is sold at P33 per kilo.
Commercial stores sell at a price range of P37 to P49 per kilo.
“The NFA can only monitor the prices of its rice stock, but there is no price control of either NFA or commercial rice,” Dimaporo said.
He added that a reason for the rapid depletion of rice stocks is that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) purchases rice from the NFA for use in disaster-response operations like those during Typhoon Vinta.
“Even Marawi buys stocks from the NFA-Iligan for the IDPs [internally displaced persons]in the evacuation centers since there is no NFA warehouse there,” Dimaporo said.
Marawi is the capital city of neighboring Lanao del Sur province.
But the DSWD is still utilizing the large rice stocks from foreign donors for evacuees in its Iligan warehouse and has not yet bought NFA rice from Iligan, according to the City Social Welfare and Development head Grace Saquilabon.
Dimaporo said the stock at present will only be good until the next infusion.
“If this stock is depleted, we will find it hard to buy directly from farmers since our buying price is only P17 per kilo while commercial wholesalers purchase from them at P21 per kilo.”
“But we expect to get a regular supply of stocks from NFA Region 10 starting June this year,” Dimaporo said.