Rice stocks sufficient for Nina-hit areas – NFA

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State-run National Food Authority (NFA) on Monday assured that it has enough stocks in its warehouses, particularly in areas directly hit by Typhoon Nina.

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In a statement, NFA Officer-in-Charge Tomas Escarez said he has already put on alert status all NFA local offices in the Bicol Region, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Metro Manila for the smooth disbursement of rice requirements.

The grains agency is working together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council at the provincial and regional levels, local government units (LGUs) and Philippine Red Cross, Escarez added.

“We are ready to issue their rice requirements anytime. We have a standing memorandum of agreement with these relief agencies so they can withdraw rice from the NFA during calamities and emergencies,” he said.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Typhoon Nina made landfall in Catanduanes in the Bicol Region on Christmas Day and continued to bring heavy rains and gusty winds as it crossed the Southern Tagalog provinces toward the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) on Monday.

The NFA local office in the Bicol Region has issued a total of 10,804 bags to the LGUs broken down as follows: Albay, 2,550; Camarines Norte, 144; Camarines Sur, 6,673 bags; Catanduanes, 35 bags; Masbate, 325 bags; and Sorsogon, 1,077 bags.

Escarez said the NFA’s rice inventory in Region 5 stands at 360,651 bags, Region 4 at 820,000 bags and 2,759,603 bags for NCR.

The agency’s nationwide rice inventory is 11,283,567 bags as of December 24, 2016.

Escarez said field offices in these regions were instructed to issue the best quality rice to LGUs and relief agencies.

“Likewise, the food agency’s Operations Center nationwide has been activated to ensure a 24-hour response and regularly monitor weather bulletins,” he added.

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