THE National Food Authority (NFA) council has given the go signal for the state-run grains agency to sell well-milled rice at P32 a kilogram in addition to its regular-milled rice that is currently being sold at P27 a kilogram nationwide.
NFA administrator Orlan Calayag said the new variety rice is newly milled local rice that the agency will be releasing in major Metro Manila markets in Muñoz, Pritil, Frisco, Trabajo, Paco, Dagonoy and Commonwealth to provide consumers with an alternative choice of high-quality rice at a cheaper price.
“The NFA’s prices of P27 a kilogram for regular-milled and P32 a kilogram for well-milled rice shall close the minimum P2 a kilogram gap between the government and commercial rice prices, giving consumers an alternative choice of the kind of rice they can afford to buy,” Calayag said.
At the onset of the lean months starting July, NFA rice monitoring teams have noted an increasing trend in the prices of commercially sold regular and well-milled rice in markets across the country.
NFA monitoring teams have noted that as of July 15, the price of regular and well-milled rice ranges at an average of P29 a kilogram and P35 a kilogram, respectively.
Although priority distribution for the well-milled NFA rice shall be the major urban areas of the country, the same stock shall be made available in other areas where there is a wide gap in prices between government and commercial rice.
Calayag explained that the traditional lean months, which spans July to September of every year, is the period when there is very little harvest from local farms. It is also the period when typhoons and other natural calamities occur, thus requiring greater attention and vigilance among government agencies providing services to the people.
“It is at this time when the NFA is required to be proactive and vigilant in ensuring the continuous availability of our basic staple rice in the markets but equally important is to make it affordable to all consumers nationwide,” Calayag said.
Meanwhile, the NFA chief assures the public that there is no need to worry about rice supply and prices even during the lean months because the country has sufficient buffer stock of the staple, which currently stands at 2.4 million metric tons (MT), or 48,384,000 bags of 50 kilograms, which is good to last for 71 days.
Of this volume, the NFA holds 692,000MT, or 13.8 million bags representing 28 percent of the total stock. The commercial sector holds 776,400MT, or 15.5 million bags, which is 32 percent of the total, while bulk or 40 percent of the stocks totaling 958,200MT, or 19.1 million bags, are kept in households.