THE government has enough rice buffer stock to cover the billions worth of crops destroyed by Typhoon Lando (Koppu), according to Malacañang.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Food Security Council headed by Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisa¬can has factored in the effects of calamities such as strong typhoons in planning ahead for the onset of the El Niño phenomenon.
“The Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Re¬sour¬ces, Department of Agra¬rian Reform, National Irrigation Administration and other agencies involved in food production have long prepared for a large buffer stock… We have no shortage because our preparation on the possible effects of the El Nino had started last month,” Coloma said in a press briefing on Thursday.
The typhoon has hit the province of Nueva Ecija, touted as a rice granary, and other provinces in northern and central Luzon.
Coloma explained that they expect 20 to 25 typhoons to hit the country until the end of the year.
“Until December we may have a storm. That’s why we have already fac¬tored in these typhoons like the one we experienced recently,” he stressed.
He said they are also open to suggestions for the National Food Authority to procure rice from damaged farms so that farmers can still somehow recover some of their capital.
“We have funds for such purpose and they are called quick response funds aside from the calamity fund. The process is for them to submit a request with the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council) because under the law, it should be certified by the NDRRMC. We have also enough funds,” he pointed out.