The National Food Authority (NFA) on Wednesday assured enough supply of rice amid the extended Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
“Kaya po natin na ma-sustain ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan sapagkat po sa ngayon po ay mayroon po tayong malaking volume ng ating stockpile sa National Food Authority, at kaya po natin na pagbigyan po ang mga kailangan ng mga local government units (We can sustain the needs of Filipinos because we currently have a huge volume of stockpile at the NFA, and we can distribute these particularly to the local government units),” NFA administrator Judy Carol Dansal said during a Laging Handa public briefing.
Dansal said the NFA alone has rice stocks that are enough to supply the whole country for 11 days.
“Kung NFA po lang ang magpapakain ng buong bansa, tayo po ay mayroon po tayong 11 days. Pero hindi naman po ganoon ang sitwasyon, kasi mayroon namang sumasagot ng 90 percent ng ating mga pangangailangan ng rice consumption, ang mga commercial rice traders (If the NFA alone would feed the whole country, the supply would be good for 11 days. But that’s not the situation, because 90 percent of our required rice consumption is supplied by the commercial rice traders),” she said.
She said the normal contribution of NFA in rice consumption is just 10 percent, but it has increased to 17.31 percent due to the Covid-19 crisis.
“Pero ganunpaman mayroon pa po tayong sapat na stock inventory (Nevertheless, we still have adequate stock inventory),” Dansal said.
Dansal, meanwhile, urged the commercial rice traders to continue their importations to ensure sufficient supply in the country.
She also called on the importers to sell their rice at “reasonable” price to help consumers affected by the quarantine measures.
Dansal thanked the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the hassle-free delivery of rice particularly throughout Luzon area.
She said the NFA issued identification cards that can be used by the drivers and workers of the rice millers for the delivery.
“Hiningi po namin ang mga listahan ng mga employees ng mga millers, nag-isyu po kami ng ID na mayroon pong seal ng IATF nang sa ganoon ay payagan silang makalabas (We asked the list of the millers’ employees, we issued them IDs with IATF seal so that they are allowed to go out),” Dansal said. (PNA)